I just returned from a trip to Strong Memorial Hospital to visit Debbie, a cyclist who was seriously injured and taken by Mercy Flight to Strong after being hit and left to die by a drunk driver near Palmyra last week.
Debbie is recovering satisfactorily, but is badly hurt and clearly in pain. Her nurse says she asks if she will be able to ride a bicycle again. The answer is “yes, but not tomorrow.” She was clearly touched and pleased to have a visitor and to know that we care…
As someone who can’t sit still and loves hanging out with his friends, I’ve found I’m a bit of an anomaly in Rochester, NY. I eat out every night for dinner and I believe in mixing up the locale often. I try not to eat at the same place within 6 months. I will travel anywhere from Spencerport to Henrietta to Victor to Webster and everywhere in between for a great meal. I will eat at the greasiest spoons to the finest in dining that Rochester has to offer, as long as the food is decent. I give every restaurant 3 chances, if they can make it that long. And I try to keep my dollars local, keeping my money in the hands of local entrepreneurs. But sometimes I can’t resist stopping into Chipotle…
Today I’d like to take a slight departure from our normal Filling In fare. No, I don’t propose to fill in all the banks in Rochester, although that’s not such a bad idea, now that I think about it. What I’d like to talk about is banks and buying stuff. Well, not just any stuff, specifically real estate…
I wrote you back in December about the issue of sidewalks not being shoveled. After every snow storm there are large areas of sidewalks that are not shoveled throughout the city. I think it’s great that the City of Rochester provides supplemental sidewalk plowing. However, I think many people think it’s now the city’s job to shovel…
As you know, the City of Rochester is requesting development proposals for the empty lots along Charlotte Street. I am sending you a plan that I worked on with a couple of designers. Unfortunately, we have not been able to connect with any interested developers, and proposals were due December 5th.
The following design is by Pebble-stream; we wanted to share it with our friends who believe in the future of this community…
Rochester has a nice skyline, although it’s not notably more impressive than some comparable cities like Des Moines, IA where the tallest tower is 801 Grand at 630 ft. or Birmingham, AL where the tallest tower is the Wells Fargo Tower at 454 ft. tall.
Next month Rochester’s transportation authority, Regional Transit Service (RTS) will open a new $50 million transit center at Mortimer Street in downtown Rochester. According to a D&C story RTS has requested that the City change the name of Mortimer Street to “RTS Way.” Mortimer Street has quietly existed between N. Clinton Ave and Saint Paul Street since Rochesterville was incorporated in 1817.
I’ve spent the last five years of my life advocating for Rochester’s public transit system and building a good working relationship with folks at RTS. That’s why I know they will take what I’m about to say as constructive criticism, and nothing more. Here it goes:
Renaming Mortimer Street after yourself is a bad idea. Don’t do it!! Now, let me explain…
The erosion of a former barrier beach at the Braddock Bay outlet has caused silt to collect in the mouth of the bay, impacting channel navigation for boaters. The shrinking bay is also being over run with cattails which as led to the displacement of various native plants and wildlife. In an attempt to restore the bay, the Buffalo-based U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering a plan to build up a new barrier beach and construct a new breakwall.
Last spring Senator Chuck Schumer urged the EPA to fund the $9 Million project, saying the plan would help open navigation channels for boaters, create new fish spawning areas for game fishing, and protect local wetlands & wildlife. The Senator also points out that property values for the nearly 100 homes on the bay are also at stake.
But not everyone is in favor of the engineering plan. Last week, Barbara Carder of Hilton wrote in to express her concern over the issue. She’s asking for people to attend a public meeting this Wednesday…
Rochester Museum and Science Center is planning an expansion to link the main museum building on East Avenue with the Strasenburgh Planetarium next door. The $7 million project will be paid for with the help of private donations and a variety of grants.
Now, most people seem to agree the link between the two buildings is greatly needed. However, since renderings were released last spring, the design aesthetic has been a hotly debated topic…
I’m generally a pretty happy person, but this time of year I’ve noticed my spirit has a tendency to drop a few pegs. Probably has something to do with the shorter days or whatever. Who knows. Anyway, it occurs to me that I’m not alone. There are LOTS of unhappy people out there. If you drive on the highways and byways of greater Rochester, you’ll get to meet many of them.
This week I foolishly let myself get drawn into not one, but two ugly squabbles. The first was with a driver who sped up to catch me from behind (in the right lane mind you) and then refused to let me merge when our two lanes became one. So, like a bozo, I whaled on my horn for a while and shook my fist in the air at the guy to make sure he saw me in his rear view mirror…
Many transit loving Rochesterians, put off by the RTS “hub and spoke” system, have long clamored for the convenience of crosstown routes. The new Route 52 answered those calls by connecting the Park Ave neighborhood with the University of Rochester Medical Center (via Goodman and Elmwood) without having to stop and transfer downtown. The new route had many of us excited .
Within the last year I have written a great deal about cities and the historic buildings they should be obligated to see maintained. Many cities cannot, will not, or do not want to penalize or fine the industrial and commercial property owners who fail to maintain the buildings within their care. Often what happens is that these neglected buildings are then demolished because they are supposedly beyond repair or structurally unsound.
It should be noted that buildings are rarely too far gone, even when roofs are missing and the “elements” have begun to reek havoc, and that often these very buildings are “structurally sound.”
Reconnect Rochester is a non-profit organization I founded a few years ago to advocate for transportation alternatives in Rochester. We work for pedestrian-friendly streets, and we push for improved public transportation. These things are important to me because I’ve seen firsthand what happens to places that focus too much attention on providing spaces for automobiles, and not enough on spaces for people.
If you don’t quite get what I’m talking about, you can listen to me blabber on . But if you’re already with me, please make plans to leave your car at home this Thursday; a day we’re calling “ROC Transit Day”…
Welcome back to our three part series on Charlotte. We’ve arrived at part three. This is it, the omega. If you recall, all the way back in part one, we said this part would be broken up into three sections:
1. Residential and Commercial Development;
2. Transportation; and
So without further adieu, let’s jump right in. Ok, one quick disclaimer, Charlotte as a whole is pretty big, too big for one little three part column. With that in mind, I’m cutting off Charlotte at Denise Road, similar to the other parts. Maybe someday I can write an addendum addressing the southern portion of the neighborhood. But enough of that – Onward!
Fellow Rochesterians, lend me your ears. I recently visited the reasonably pleasant city of Portland, OR. While I was there, I couldn’t help but notice a rather cleverly decorated, midcentury modern building. It was this one, actually…
Imagine you are the new owner of a giant, underutilized parking lot*. What would you do with it? Would you leave it as is? Tear out the pavement and start a community garden? What if there was an apartment building next to it. Would you tear it down and build a skyscraper? These are all excellent ideas. We here at filling in solicited input from a variety of fellow RochesterSubway.com contributors, and it’s clear that we all have different ideas about what to do…
*Disclaimer – I am a new part owner of a giant, underutilized parking lot. This one, in fact.
Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you with the alarming headline, but the traffic-calming project that was proposed for Lake Avenue (at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery) is dead. I received word yesterday from a friend in Charlotte that Mayor Lovely Warren has ordered City engineers to kill the planned lane reduction. Warren caved in to pressure from Charlotte residents & merchants who feared the lane reduction would cause traffic jams and hurt businesses in Charlotte.
In addition to reconstructing the 1 mile section of Lake Avenue, the plan would have reduced the lanes from four to three – with one lane in each direction plus a center turn lane. Why would the City take away traffic lanes?! Relax, you don’t have to worry about it anymore…
Welcome back, readers. It’s been a while. Today I’d like to look at a project that we could bring into the pipeline almost immediately. I say could, because there are almost assuredly zoning issues with what I’m proposing. That said, we could still get rolling on it immediately, because the site happens to already be on the market for $10,000! Let’s see what we’re getting for our money, what we’re building, and some numbers on the whole thing…
I was thinking about our collective reactions to the proposed D&C building, and the completed Windstream building. Clearly both buildings are more modest than what many of us hoped to see in this key downtown site (and what the zoning code spells out for downtown). It’s an issue that I think applies to all infill development downtown, and the ideas behind Incremental Urbanism shed some interesting light on it.
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.