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Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’...

Happy Independence Day!! Err, wait, are you legal?

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

On this July 4th weekend I thought it fitting to share a stunning factoid with you: the Border Patrol station in Rochester, N.Y. apprehended more than 1,200 people who did not qualify to be in the United States in 2007…

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Sunday, July 4th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

More Discussion with WHAM 13’s Evan Dawson on the Cost of High Speed Rail

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Evan Dawson, WHAM News 13Yesterday I wrote to Evan Dawson from WHAM News 13 in an effort to find out why he chose to compare HSR to the Rochester/Toronto fast ferry in his recent article, High Speed Rail: Fast Forward, Not Fast Ferry… Right? external link My concern was that this was an unfair, apples-to-oranges comparison. After all, passenger rail has served our region for over 150 years and if NY doesn’t want the upgrade it will go to Florida, Texas, California, Ohio, etc. To Dawson’s credit he took the time to write me back. He didn’t have to and I appreciate that. BUT, he missed the point I was trying to make and for the record, I still take issue with his comparison to the failed ferry and his line of questioning directed at Congresswoman Slaughter. Below is his response to my first email. Below that is MY response to his response. More to come I’m sure…

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Friday, April 16th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 1 Comment »

WHAM 13’s Evan Dawson: High Speed Rail = Fast Ferry

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Rochester's outdated Amtrak Station. (photo: www.thebluecomet.com)
Last Friday (April 9, 2010) Louise Slaughter held a press conference at Rochester’s Amtrak Station along with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to officially announce the arrival of High Speed Rail to Western NY. In addition to the track improvements made possible by $151 million in federal stimulus money, Slaughter said Rochester’s outdated Amtrak station will receive modest updates to the building and platform. She also announced that Amtrak, Greyhound, and Trailways (who were in attendance) were committed to building a new multimodal station as a separate project. Also in attendance was WHAM 13’s Evan Dawson [edawson@13wham.com]. Dawson asked some tough questions. For example, “Who will subsidize the project?” Good one Dawson. Hey, does WHAM have any openings? I’d like to apply.

So this past Monday Dawson posted his commentary, High Speed Rail: Fast Forward, Not Fast Ferry… Right? external link It’s quite the masterpiece. The article points to a list of questions that he’d like answers to. But since he hasn’t found the answers yet… he’ll just assume that these upgrades to the nation’s rail system are unnecessary and will be the next “fast ferry”.

While I applaud Dawson’s quest to find answers to certain outstanding questions, I take issue with his use of metaphor. And since WHAM doesn’t allow user comments on their site anymore, I had to send him this email in order to let him know how I felt…
(more…)

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 8 Comments »

Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Photo simulation of a new Rochester streetcar on Main Street.

America seems to have taken a renewed interest in mobility. Maybe due to President Obama’s recent commitment to high speed rail—or perhaps the positive results seen in towns like Portland and Denver have caught our collective attention. Whatever the reason, from the top down, people are rethinking our automobile-oriented culture—and getting excited about the possibilities.

There’s also good reason to focus on transportation as a way of jump-starting economic development. Industry requires access to people. And people need to have easy access to centers of employment. Continually improving access makes further development possible. Interrupting access will have the opposite effect. Likewise, doing nothing or simply maintaining existing infrastructure for an extended period of time will also hinder development.

For 30+ years Rochester has relied on the infrastructure choices it made in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. At that time we made development choices that encouraged our population to emigrate from the downtown core. We scrapped our extensive streetcar system, choked off downtown with the construction of the inner-loop, and paved super highways to take us from the city to the NY State Thruway and beyond. Since then that’s exactly where our money, our workforce, and our future have gone—down I-490 and out of state.

(more…)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Video | 38 Comments »

The Electric Interurban Railways in America

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

A vintage postcard (available on RochesterSubway.com) entitled 'Electricity versus Steam'. The photo shows the tracks of the Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railroad and the Auburn branch of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad where they parallel each other between Rochester and Canandaigua, with the trains of each railroad running at full speed in the same direction. The electric car shown here was capable of reaching speeds of sixty miles per hour.
Long before hybrid cars, SUV’s, JetBlue, and even Amtrak, travel between American cities occurred largely by rail. With the industrial and technological revolution around the turn of the 20th century, America’s interurban railway developed so fast and connected so many of us, it must have seemed like the future had suddenly arrived out of nowhere. So when Henry Ford’s Model T was introduced who could have anticipated the turn transportation history would soon take.

If you’re interested in understanding the history of rail travel in American (its rise and quick fall), we’ve got a book for you. One of our readers, Laurence Keefe, recently brought this one to our attention. The following is Larry’s review…

“When we were children on summer vacation, the highlight of the day was when Dad got home from work. We would eat dinner at six o’clock, when the news came on the radio. That was because it took him 50 minutes to get from his office near the Four Corners in Rochester, NY to our farm in Victor…

(more…)

Sunday, January 17th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

Rewind: High Speed Rail Art from 2002

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Fast forward or rewind? The dream of high speed rail in Upstate NY is nothing new. Back in 1993 external link Mario Cuomo wanted to see Amtrak service upgraded to 125mph between Albany and Buffalo. And the idea has been studied up and down since the 70’s. But now with Obama and Biden calling for a new high speed rail network to ease congestion on U.S. roadways, and Representative Louise Slaughter spearheading a new push to bring high speed upstate external link, what’s old just may be new again. Check out this poster…

'Fast Forward - High Speed Rail for Rochester' poster designed by Laura Wilder circa 2002. Commissioned by the Genesee Transportation Council to drum up support for high speed rail.
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Gifts, Rochester History, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

NY High Speed Rail… I’m With Slaughter!

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Amtrak's Acela high-speed train which operates between Washington DC and Boston.With the latest wave of federal stimulus external link, suddenly a storm of ideas and proposals are pouring down on downtown. In one corner, Governor David Paterson and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter are reigniting a movement in support of a new high-speed rail line from Niagara Falls to New York City. Slaughter wants to see Renaissance Square funds reallocated toward building a new train/bus station built where the old Amtrak station is now on Central Avenue external link. In the opposite corner, County Exec Maggie Brooks and Senator Charles Schumer are pushing ahead with demolition plans in preparation for Ren Square. Poor Mayor Duffy doesn’t know whether to take sides or run for cover.*

(more…)

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | 6 Comments »

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