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Transit Takes a Back Seat at University of Rochester

September 30th, 2012

University of Rochester president Joel Seligman showing off plans for College Town. Original plans included an enclosed public transit center. The latest plans include twice as much parking as originally called for and no transit center. [PHOTO: Democrat & Chronicle]

In case you haven’t heard, plans for a transit center at University of Rochester’s College Town have been scrapped. The project is set to receive $20 Million in public loans external link but the D&C reported external link that plans for an enclosed transit center—which would have had 10 to 12 bus bays—no longer fits the developers’ needs.

This is a sad and unfortunate decision.

I asked RGRTA if they are still committed to improving transit service to the UofR Medical Center. They are indeed. RGRTA says while there will not be an enclosed facility, alternative solutions might include new routes, premium shelters and curb cuts within the Mt Hope / Crittenden / Kendrick / Elmwood block with stops at both sides of the main entrance.

But the greater issue may be that Joel Seligman and leaders at Rochester’s most influential educational institution do not appear to understand how important it is for they themselves to show leadership in prioritizing transit options over automobile use.

College Town at University of Rochester. [RENDERING: Fairmount Properties]
College Town’s 1,525 space, five-story parking garage seems to grow larger every time plans are updated external link. This is not 21st century thinking. Building a new highway interchange external link to ease automobile congestion is not 21st century thinking.
Shutting out public transit and transportation alternatives is not 21st century thinking.

These regressive decisions by the University set a poor example for students and for future community developments. In the long run they are damaging to Rochester’s environment, our health, and our economy.

Elementary school children understand these concepts. Are those in charge of Rochester’s prestigious educational institution still in the dark? Maybe we should all contact Mr. Seligman and tell him why we think public transit options need to be given greater priority at UofR…

Joel Seligman
Office of the President
University of Rochester
240 Wallis Hall
Rochester, NY 14627
Phone: (585) 275-8356
seligman@rochester.edu

Related Links:

Rachel Barnhart calls College Town “a travesty” external link
$20 million federal loan for College Town external link

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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 30th, 2012 at 9:50 pm and is filed under Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

5 Responses to “Transit Takes a Back Seat at University of Rochester”

  1. Zack says:

    SELIGMAN!!!! You got some splaining to do!!!

  2. Mittens says:

    Another example of Rochester shutting out public transportation.

  3. Matt says:

    While we’re on the topic of brilliant new transportation concepts, it’s heartening [sic] to see that RGRTA has advanced to the idea of curb cuts (which are great for motorists and terrible for riders), but has not yet discovered the idea of bump outs instead.

  4. @Matt, I can take this idea to them and see what they say. My guess is they’d love to do bump outs. It’s our Monroe County road engineers that might have a problem with them. Where have you seen them used?

  5. Matt says:

    Sure. They’re becoming quite common just about anywhere that’s civilized. We’re installing them here in NYC:
    http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/07/27/eyes-on-the-street-the-bus-bulb-at-the-nexus-of-the-universe/

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2010/06/18/eyes-on-the-street-bus-bulbs-on-broadway-protected-lanes-on-second-ave/

    Here’s the Federal evaluation of them:
    http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rpt_65-a.pdf

    They’re also being used to great effect in Chicago, and a similar system exists in Toronto for streetcars.

    They have the added effect of being curb extensions, and work well to calm traffic. They can also be built as islands to shorten pedestrian crossings and allow for a protected bike lane (which would be good all over the place in Rochester).


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