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RocLinks 4/9/16

April 9th, 2016

Tower280 [PHOTO: The Rochesteriat]
By Matthew Denker

From local development to just plain news of the weird, here are your RocLinks for this past week…

Feel Safe Out There

In what can only be good news, Rochester’s crime rate is at its lowest in 25 years. No specific reasons were given for the decline, but the continuing trend is welcome.

On the Move

A pair of charter schools in Rochester are moving to larger locations.external link While it’s unfortunate to have a few large vacant buildings, I think they’ll likely be leased up soon, and it’s good that the schools have been so successful.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

Also of interest this week, the Rochesteriat takes a lookexternal link at potential (desirable?) tenants for the remaining Tower280 commercial space (which isn’t getting a grocery store, if you haven’t already heard). I’d propose a CityTarget myself (go figure), but the space is about half the square footage of one.

Compatibility Check

In the ongoing tiff between Mark IV and the Village of Pittsford, things have gotten sloppy.external link Something tells me that Pittsford and its residents have a different interpretation of history (and new construction’s compatibility with it) that involves far more parking and bricks and far less density and mixed uses than the record might reveal.

Boom

And finally, the historic bear fountain in Geneseo has met it’s match external link (spoiler, it was a semi). I wish the town the best of luck putting Humpty back together again, because this would be a capital loss.

• • •

As always, use the comments below as open discussion for anything in these links – or let us know if there’s a topic you’d like to see us hit more aggressively in future RocLinks. Have a great weekend!

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2016 at 8:00 am and is filed under Uncategorized. 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.

12 Responses to “RocLinks 4/9/16”

  1. Powers says:

    Can you clarify what you mean about Pittsford? You think the residents are too concerned about parking and bricks or not concerned enough?

  2. Marcia says:

    Not surprised Matthew Denker (Rochester Subway) thinks Pittsford is too concerned about parking. He expressed a similar opinion about the plans for the Port of Rochester, as I remember.

  3. It’s true. There is plenty of parking in Rochester, it’s metro area, and effectively the entire US. We really don’t need to worry about it as much as we do. Indeed, it’s causing just about everything to be more expensive than it needs to be in accommodating the automobile as well as we do. We should probably be concerned about there being too much parking.

  4. Jason says:

    And “Matthew Denker (Rochester Subway)” is completely right in his assessment. This debate in Pittsford is absurd. Have you walked by the location on the canal Marcia? It’s a freakn’ asphalt dune. And when I say “asphalt”, I mean quite literally there is piles of loose asphalt on the property. I’m missing the historic character that is supposedly in this pile of dirt?

    And also Marcia (Marcia Kinley King, Charlotte Strong), Matt is also right on the Port of Rochester. If the Charlotte Strong group had its way, the Port would be off-limits to any “outsiders” who doesn’t embrace their large asphalt beach they’ve created there.

  5. John says:

    I was just listening to NPR and they were talking about cyberarcheology and reconstruction of cultural landmarks in Afghanistan. One of the things they talked about is an American obsession with restoration vs. rebuilding. A lot of important cultural landmarks in the old world have been destroyed by time/war/natural disaster and rebuilt. It doesn’t lessen the significance. It sucks that the bear fountain was hit, but especially with the bear itself being largely intact the fountain can be rebuilt.

  6. Jason says:

    Apparently Geneseo had a fund set aside preparing specifically for this day. So they are planning on rebuilding the fountain with those funds.

  7. Marcia says:

    Jason-To be completely honest I have not “walked by the location on the canal” (in Pittsford). As far as development in Charlotte-In my opinion Charlotte could use updates/development. I think an aquarium,an indoor water park, or even a giant ferris wheel (attractions) would be great additions to the port. I do not think the proposed 13 story hotel/condo is needed or a good fit. Most people that rent a dock space in the new marina will probably, in my opinion, sleep right on their boats. Even if some boaters were looking for lodging there is no need for that many hotel rooms (again just my opinion). What is the draw that is going to bring crowds to Charlotte? A dirty lake and Abbott’s ice cream? Plus if this hotel/condo is such a great investment why does the developer have to get funding from the scandal ridden EB-5 program?

  8. Rando Winter says:

    The development in Pittsford will include the highest buildings in all of Pittsford (read mountain) and likely add 500 more cars to a tiny two-lane already overburdened road between the bottom of a bridge and a very active railroad track. Initially, the development was billed as a way to add money to the local economy so why did they add a restaurant that will be open from 7am till 1am with live music outside? And don’t get me started about those 271 boat slips on the canal. Do you still think we are just worried about bricks?

  9. Ok, so one by one, since this seems particularly directed at me.

    1.) Height: It’s difficult to tell, but it looks like the new buildings are about 5 stories. This is approximately 10 feet taller than the tallest thing in town now. If Mark IV lopped a story off, I don’t believe, for a second, that everyone (anyone) in town would suddenly be ok with project. Feel free to ask them and call my bluff.

    2.) Roads – It’s 167 new apartments. The Village of Pittsford (all 1,300 or so people that it is) have an average HH size of 2.2. But this obscures things a bit. One third of the HHs are a person living alone, while the other 2/3rds are a family of average size 2.83 persons. Almost every one of those HHs is a couple with a child (it’s below 3 exactly, because, in fact, there are a few single parent households). Let’s say 1/3rd of HHs have a single driver, while 2/3rds have a pair of drivers. That’s 277 new adult residents (drivers), or half your 500 number. The 2011 GTC HTS tells us that the average person in the county makes 7.7 trips a day, of which 68% are homebased and (thus generating traffic around the development) 92% are by automobile (and the number is a little lower because these are person trips, so if both people in the household drive somewhere, that’s 2 trips, but we’ll round up for your benefit). Anyway, this works out to a mildly eye-popping 1,334 trips per day. BUT! NHTSA says a 2 lane urban road can handle 1800 cars per hour per direction. That means 3600 trips per hour, so this entire endeavor is barely 20 minutes of capacity in a day for the road. The space is there.

    3.) The restaurant: It looks like it’s been there since the beginning, but I don’t see how it’s at odds with bringing money to the community. Certainly people travel to Pittsford from around the region (try getting French food actually in Rochester) to eat. As for live music all hours of the night. Allow me to reprise the earlier argument. If the community would suddenly support the project if outdoor music that was over by 9, or didn’t exist at all, it’d happen in a heartbeat.

    4.) Boat slips. I have no idea what to say about boat slips. They’re not in the renderings I’ve seen, but it’s unclear to me why they’re such an issue. It’s not as though they’re some monument to the bourgeoisie that is at utter odds with the population of Pittsford (an argument that might hold water in Charlotte, where the median HH income is $61k vs. Pittsford’s $106k.)

    5.) Just bricks: No, I said parking too, which the set of arguments set forward belie (with the suggestion of 500 more cars – a truly insane number). There’s no reason to believe that if the developer made the rather mild changes suggested that Pittsford would suddenly open their arms to a few hundred new neighbors.

  10. Rando Winter says:

    You should know that 75% of the Village of Pittsford is rentals…college students mostly. That means the density of these apartments will most likely extend beyond 1 or 2 people per apartment. You also forgot to factor in the cars of the staff, the restaurant patrons, swimming guests, boaters, party guests at the community center, etc.

  11. Rando – the census/cps data accounts for the college student deal. Many of the 167 apartments are 1 bedrooms, so they’ll be singles or couples at most. Probably not roommates, and probably not more than 2. As for the other cars, they’re rather minor in the grand scheme of things. Most of them are around at non peak times, representing noncommuting trips. Even work trips, such as building and restaurant staff, are at non-peak periods (generally before rush hour in both the morning and evening, and then late at night). As such, they don’t really add to traffic. There basically aren’t any roads in the entire country at capacity 24/7 let alone Rochester. We have overbuilt to deal with rush hours. Given more time, I could go ahead and calculate these numbers, but I reckoned it was overly complicated for little gain.


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