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Posts Tagged ‘streetcars’...

RGRTA’s Transit Center as seen from ‘A Town Square’

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Howard Decker is new to Rochester. He moved here last Fall after spending much of his professional life designing transit systems from Chicago to Houston to Washington DC. He is a lifelong historic preservationist, an FAIA, architect, urban designer, and former Chief Curator of the National Building Museum. As a self-proclaimed “transit-geek” he is now spending time familiarizing himself with, and blogging about Rochester and working with groups such as the RRCDC and Reconnect Rochester external link. Last week Howard attended the public input meeting on RGRTA’s planned transit center on Mortimer Street. Today he posted his opinion on the whole thing. Read his article (below). And please attend the final public input meeting external link tomorrow night (May 5).

Buses and Subways and Trains, Oh My

Rochester's Main Street and Clinton Avenue looking South. 1929.A Town Square (May 4, 2010) — Our home place here is in the midst of considering a change to its transit system. As usual, Rochester is the perfect case study of how cities can screw themselves up with the greatest of ease. My newly adopted city, like so many of its sister places, has made a vast litany of urban gaffes over the last century, and we are about to see yet another. Let me explain.

In the early 20th century, Rochester had a system of streetcars and interurbans and even a subway, all of which provided transit options to citizens. In those days, say the 1920s, the population of the city was quite a bit larger than today, though the region was much smaller – sprawl was only just getting started.

By the mid 1950s, everything was gone. Streetcars gone. Interurbans gone. Subway gone. Left on the roads? Cars, and buses. Retail was headed out of town, following all those who began to sprawl. Downtown’s fate was sealed…

Read the full article at ‘A Town Square’ external link

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester History, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

Roll Up Your Sleeves. Let’s Reconnect Rochester.

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Don't confuse her with Rosie the Riveter. The model for this WWII poster is actually Geraldine Doyle. We're borrowing this powerful illustration from Howard J. Miller to help us Reconnect Rochester.
Hopefully by now you’ve read Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line. If you haven’t, go read it. Go on, I’ll wait.

…Okay great, now here’s an update. Since that article, traffic to RochesterSubway.com has doubled, our Facebook fan club external link has grown from 100 to over 400 (and counting), and my inbox hasn’t had a moments rest. This is all very encouraging and a sure sign that the people of Rochester really want to see their city thrive. The big question is; do the people of Rochester care enough to make an effort? All signs point to yes. So far we’ve got 12 people (including myself) who have risen to the challenge. Together we will lead a city wide movement to Reconnect Rochester.

(more…)

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 1 Comment »

See Seattle’s Super Sweet Streetcar

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

About a year ago I had the awesome pleasure of riding Seattle’s new South Lake Union Streetcar—a 1.3 mile line that opened in December 2007. Peep this video from Streetfilms.org. Seattle’s state-of-the-art streetcar line features real time arrival message boards, solar-powered ticket vending machines, and human-activated doors to save energy while the train is in layover mode. And check this out, you can find out the next arrival time external link and actually watch the streetcars moving external link via GPS trackers all from the Seattle Streetcar web site.

But what has this hi-tech investment done for the South Lake Union neighborhood? For one thing, a Whole Foods Market moved in—downtown Seattle’s first full service supermarket in decades. Plus, new condos, mixed-use development, and Amazon.com’s brand new world headquarters. That’s impressive.

Oh and while I was there I made sure to ride the monorail external link! You know I love you Rochester, but I had some serious reservations about returning fromthat trip.

See also Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line.

Saturday, February 20th, 2010
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Posted in Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 1 Comment »

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 »

Upcoming Lecture: “Have We Forgotten Streetcars?”

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

The Dryden Theater at the George Eastman House, Rochester NY.After receiving rave reviews for his 2008 lecture on global rail travel, “Wish You Were Here” series sponsor Thomas N. Tischer has agreed to present again at the Dryden Theater external link — this time to discuss the role streetcars and trolleys played in the development of U.S. cities and their European counterparts.

(more…)

Saturday, October 24th, 2009
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Posted in Events, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

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.

(more…)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 17 Comments »

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  6. The Old Barber House
  7. Rochester Mafia, the Banana King, and the Infamous "Barrel Murder"
  8. Rochester's 7th Most Beautiful Train Station in the U.S.
  9. RGRTA Digs Up Rochester's Old RKO Palace Theater
  10. Subway Tunnel To Be Filled. This time they mean it. Probably.
  11. A 100 Ton Discovery at the Port of Rochester
  12. 1906 Panorama and More Old Photos of Rochester, NY
  13. Rundel Library on Ghost Hunters: 'Due Date with Death'
  14. Exploring the Caves of Rochester, NY
  15. Never Before Seen Photos of RKO Palace Theater
  16. Genesee Brewery to Demolish This Building
  17. What Is This Strange Water Feature?
  18. Rochester 2020 - Rail vs. Fast Buses?
  19. Rochester's Case for a Streetcar
  20. Irondequoit Square
  21. Drunk Woman Nearly Flattened by Boston Subway Train
  22. Rochester's (inspiring) Old Railroad Stations
  23. ROC Low Line: A (new) Proposal for Rochester's Abandoned Subway
  24. A Better Bus Stop Sign for Rochester
  25. Inside the Iola Tuberculosis Sanatorium
  26. Give Me City Gate
  27. History of Seabreeze Amusement Park
  28. Inside the Pulaski Library
  29. A Tour of Rochester's Times Square Building
  30. Loving Life at Erie Harbor Apartments
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  32. Fortified Rochester
  33. Imagine, Rochester's Historic Brewery Square
  34. Manhattan Square Park Mural Erased
  35. Who is Spaceman?

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