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Archive: ‘Interviews’...

Councilmember Carla Palumbo: “We Have a Transportation Plan”

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Can I just say I love WXXI, public radio, and the Bob Smith Show. One day the topic might be the economy or politics; the next might be how to avoid lead poisoning. His guests are always relevant and the conversation is always thought provoking. Also, what other show (besides Wease) can a guy from a blog called RochesterSubway.com call and actually be put on the air?

Councilmember Carla PalumboYesterday, Councilmember Carla Palumbo was Bob’s guest and the topic was the Mortimer Street Bus Terminal. Most of the callers denounced the project for it’s poor placement or lack of inter-connectivity with other modes of transportation. I wanted to try to move the conversation forward—beyond just this one project.

Take a listen to the show and pay special attention to Carla’s answer to my question at around 45 minutes in…

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Friday, October 8th, 2010
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Posted in Interviews, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 10 Comments »

Chris Luckhardt… Pro-Photographer. Canadian. Rochester Subway Explorer.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Chris Luckhardt shooting inside an abandoned train yard warehouse in Manchester, NY. (photo: Chris Luckhardt)
Back in January I stumbled upon a Flickr photo collection external link full of urban exploration photos from all around the Great Lakes and several “rust belt” cities… with several shots from Rochester and the abandoned subway tunnel. Shot after shot revealed some pretty unique views of Rochester’s underground world plus other amazing abandoned structures. As it happens, the owner of these wonderfully gritty photo streams is Chris Luckhardt, organizer of the Toronto Exploration Society. Chris is also the creative force behind Motionblur Studios external link—a low budget, high quality studio located west of Toronto.

Inside the abandoned Lee Plaza in Detroit, Michigan. This was Chris's first attempt at an HDR composition that included a person. (photo: Chris Luckhardt)

Originally from Stratford, Ontario, Chris Luckhardt’s creative exploration has driven him from New Foundland to Pheonix in search of forgotten places—strangely spiritual, places we’re not ‘supposed’ to go. I contacted Chris to find out a little more about these photos and what enticed him to visit the bowels of downtown Rochester…

ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: Hi Chris, I noticed you have a couple of nice shots of the abandoned Rochester Subway. How often do you visit the subway tunnel? Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your photos?

Chris Luckhardt is the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society. Chris says he lives a life of 'creative exploration.'CHRIS: Sure, thanks for the feedback! I’m the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society external link. The group, founded in February 2005, specializes in urban exploration (mostly around the Great Lakes region) and photo walks (mostly in Toronto). I’m currently west of Toronto in Cambridge, Ontario. Rochester was the first US city I visited strictly for urban exploration. I have lots of photos and video from inside the [Rochester] subway. I’ve been down there 5 times in the past 4 years, the last time being a couple of months ago. I also have lots of SD and HD video, but I haven’t processed anything yet.

(more…)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
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Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Urban Exploration | 6 Comments »

Graffiti: Rising Up From Rochester’s Underground

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The story of the Rochester Subway is not complete without at least mentioning Rochester’s deep-rooted hip hop culture. If you’re less than familiar with Rochester, I assure you, this shizzle is fo’ real. The “Flower City” has street cred, and our abandoned subway tunnel has long been used as a canvas to show off some of our best underground talent…

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Friday, March 26th, 2010
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Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Video | 9 Comments »

The Rochester Public Market to Get More Parking and a Shuttle

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

The Rochester Public Market will get additional parking and a new rubber-tire tram to carry shoppers to and from their cars. Construction is expected to begin Fall 2010.
My family has a Saturday morning tradition. We all grab our eco-friendly shopping bags and pile into our not-so-eco-friendly family car. But that’s alright. Even if my car is a clunker I usually feel a lot better about myself after a trip to the Rochester Public Market. I can’t explain it—this place just makes me feel good. So how do you improve on a good thing?

I recently heard a rumor that the cool people down at Rochester’s very cool Public Market were considering buying a trolley. Yup, that’d be an improvement! Is the rumor true? I asked James Farr, Assistant Director of Recreation for the City of Rochester.

(more…)

Saturday, December 19th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

Subway Tunnel To Be Filled. This time they mean it. Probably.

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

The soon-to-be-filled west entrance to the Rochester Subway at Brown Street.

For decades it’s been an inconvenient truth for Rochester. The abandoned Erie Canal turned ghost subway tunnel has long been considered a ticking time-bomb. It’s widely known that the city has wanted to fill at least the west end of the tunnel for many years, citing critical safety deficiencies in the structure beneath the street surface. But, with Rochester’s ongoing economic struggles and estimates into the $10’s of millions, the project has been repeatedly delayed (or swept under the rug). Until now…

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Saturday, October 10th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Rochester Subway | 30 Comments »

Broad Street Tunnel Improvement Project

Friday, October 9th, 2009


Interview with Tom Hack, P.E., Project Manager

ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: It was recently brought to our attention that the City of Rochester is taking bids from contractors to repair and/or fill the abandoned subway tunnel under Broad Street. Can you confirm this? If so, what are the details of the job?

Tom Hack: The fill is going to take place from Brown Street to the RR portal next to Nick Tahoe’s (it involves about 1900 lf out of 4600 lf total). We are maintaining the RR portal behind Nick Tahoe’s as that will serve as a new access/maintenance road into the remaining sections of the tunnel.

ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: When are you hoping to start the work?

Tom Hack: We are scheduled to open bids on October 19, 2009. We hope to have “actual” construction operations underway in early December 2009, however the bulk of the tasks won’t hit their stride until April-May 2010.

ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: What range do you expect the bids to come in at? (in $$)

Tom Hack: We anticipate that bids for the work will be in the range of $14-16 Million (+/-).

ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: Is this project part of a larger initiative? i.e. Is this just Phase 1 in filling the rest of the tunnel, or maybe prep work for some larger project involving Broad Street?

Tom Hack: This project is a standalone project but obviously it does has ramifications toward other city proposed initiatives. Four issues that come into play are:

  1. Parking within the confines of the remaining rehabilitated sections of the Tunnel
  2. Phase III and IV of Rochester’s Historic Canal District Initiative does envision partial use of this space for the creation of the West end Basin, however the timing of this phase is 15-20 years out and obviously the dynamics and market conditions may dictate other uses.
  3. Stabilization and general enhancement of the corridor. This project does strengthen, link and unify the visual attributes of the surrounding land uses and neighborhoods. This is an overall initiative of the City and indirectly the streetscape amenities that we will be installing does add value in that regard.
  4. The project does advance the Rochester Heritage Trail. The Rochester Heritage trail is a designated walkway linking the City’s multitude of historic feature, dating when downtown was a port on the Erie Canal and the burgeoning center of commerce, industry and social activism. This is a self guided walk that identifies historic sites and tells the stories of Rochester’s people, places, and cultures as they impacted development of our nation. (Think Boston’s Freedom Trial)

Friday, October 9th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester Subway | No Comments »

The Race is On

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

There are 14 Democrats running for five open seats on Rochester City Council. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, September 15, 2009. Meet all the candidates here so you can make an informed decision. Rock the vote.

Harry Davis

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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News | No Comments »

Harry Davis for Rochester City Council

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Vote For Trains... Uh, err, I mean Change!

On September 15, 2009, there’ll be a gentleman on the Democratic primary ballot for Rochester City Council. Harry Davis is a big advocate for Rochester, sustainable urban planning, and rail transit …That’s all it took for us to take notice. Mr. Davis doesn’t have a long political resume or a lot of connections with big names. He’s a graduate of Brighton High School (1969), owned an antique store on Park Avenue, ran a small alternative Rochester newspaper called The Journal, and traveled around a bit while working as a video producer for Greenpeace. From my brief conversation with Mr. Davis, I’d say whatever he lacks in political experience he more than makes up for with heart and enthusiasm. Take this self-produced anti-RenSquare ad for instance…

(more…)

Sunday, August 9th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Video | 5 Comments »

Maggie on Ren Square, “This is no fast ferry”

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Monroe County Executive, Maggie BrooksIn a recent post I implored our readers to send Maggie Brooks an email and request that she listen to Mayor Duffy’s concerns about the Renaissance Square project. It took a while but I actually did receive a response from Ms. Brooks. There no big surprises in it. As expected she defends the project citing the federal dollars, potential new jobs, and the 11 years it’s taken the project to get off the ground (11 years and still counting). But there are a few points that seem rather curious to me—one of which is a “full return on investment [for taxpayers] within seven years. Sure sounds dreamy. Here’s Maggies full response…

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Sunday, July 5th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »

Mayor Duffy Awakening

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Anti-RenSquare banners hang over the neglected storefronts at Main Street and Clinton Avenue. Photo taken May 2009.

The City Newspaper this week published an interview with Mayor Duffy, ‘It’s not too late to change’: Duffy on Ren Square external link. In it Duffy explains his recent coming out against the project as it is currently proposed. He cites recent changes in the business and development landscape downtown, new transportation stimulus funding, and sort of a personal awakening for his change of heart. Let’s show the Mayor we support him…

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »

Rochester 2020 — Rail vs. Fast Buses?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Bogota, Colombia - notice the separate lanes and enclosed shelters. A fixed guideway BRT system may one day serve Rochester.If I said Rochester may one day have a rapid transportation system linking RIT to downtown Rochester and beyond, you might automatically think ‘light rail’. Think again. RochesterSubway.com recently discussed the future of Rochester’s transportation infrastructure with Richard Perrin, Executive Director of the Genesee Transportation Council external link and an AICP certified city planner.

NOTE: If you’ve got a question that we didn’t ask in our interview, please leave a comment at the end of this post and we’ll pass it along to Mr. Perrin who will do his best to answer it as time permits.

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Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 18 Comments »

Monroe County Transportation, Highly Satisfying?

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Monroe County Executive, Maggie BrooksI asked Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks if our current transportation infrastructure (highways, bus routes, etc.) are adequate to serve the needs and growth of our community moving into the future. I also asked what she thought Rochester mass-transit should look like by the year 2020 and if there was anything she’d like to see changed or improved. Read her response, then please let me know what YOU think…

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Saturday, February 28th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 6 Comments »

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