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Posts Tagged ‘urban planning’...

RocLinks 3/19/16

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Cleaning at Rochester's Lower Falls [PHOTO: The Lower Falls Foundation]
By Matthew Denker

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

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Saturday, March 19th, 2016
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »

“Gridlock” Sam Schwartz at The Little Theatre, 2/24

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

The West Side Highway in Manhattan, opened in 1936, was the world's first elevated highway.
By Mike Governale

When the world’s first elevated highway was completed in 1936 along Manhattan’s west side, the New York Times marveled that “the gleaming new concrete ribbon” would let drivers travel from lower Manhattan “nearly to Poughkeepsie without having to stop for a traffic light or slow up for an intersection.” Legendary city planner and master highway builder, Robert Moses promised the new highway would “eliminate” traffic jams on the city’s west side…

(more…)

Thursday, February 18th, 2016
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Posted in Events, Rochester News, Subways Around the Globe, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »

Filling In: Zoning Part 3, Commercial

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

The Flatiron Building - The highest of the highs in C-1. [IMAGE: Mike (M J M), Flickr.com]
By Matthew Denker

Goodbye houses, hello something more! Having already discussed the city’s 3 residential zones, it’s time to talk about its 3 mixed-use zones. In one of the many progressive moves in the 2003 re-zoning, Rochester moved away from pure commercial use zones by adding mixed use and residential uses to the (formerly) commercial zones. The narrative descriptions changed, but the letter designations did not. Anyway, ditch the bowtie, grab a monocle and let’s go…

(more…)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Urban Development | 4 Comments »

Filling In: Aldi Revisted

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Aldi Sign [Image: Matzo Electric Signs]
By Matthew Denker

Welcome back, readers – it’s been a while! But now that summer is drawing to a close, and we’re starting to stock up for the long winter ahead (wouldn’t want to be THIS guy external link), it’s time to start Filling In again. For our first discussion, let’s revisit Aldi. When we last wrote about it, Mike was advocating for getting good design, and I was putting forward a couple ideas about how the store might improve its relationship with the neighborhood . “Fine,” you say, “where is this going?” Well I’m glad you asked.

(more…)

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Urban Development | 11 Comments »

Filling In: Aldi

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Winton Village Aldi Rendering
By Matthew Denker

Welcome back, readers. As you know, we’ve previously discussed things to do with Tops should Aldi be built at Winton Road and Blossom Road. There’s also been a discussion about how the construction of Aldi went in Irondequoit. Today, I’d like to take a look at a few reasonably simple changes that would completely change the tenor of the proposed development…

(more…)

Monday, March 16th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester News, Urban Development | 23 Comments »

Aldi Store Hailed as Model of 21st-Century Urban Planning

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The new Aldi store in Irondequoit offers a glimpse into the future for the corner of North Winton and Blossom.
By Mike Governale

You may remember an article I posted more than a year about new plans for an Aldi store in Irondequoit on Hudson Ave. At that time I suggested the building should front the street/sidewalk, instead of being set back behind the parking lot. I thought the result would have been a development that would be more accessible to people who might choose to walk in off the street.

My suggestion was met with all kinds of wisdom from the project architect who has since set me straight. I now understand why it is better community planning to put your buildings in the middle of parking lots…

(more…)

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 37 Comments »

Rochester’s First Parklet

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Next spring construction will begin on Rochester's first parklet in front of Joe Bean Coffee Roasters. [IMAGE: Staach]
By Mike Governale
Story updated October 12, 2015.

Next spring construction will begin on Rochester’s first parklet—a mini public space—in front of Joe Bean Coffee Roasters external link. Parklets are a relatively new urban feature you may have seen popping up in metros across the country. These makeshift public spaces typically extend out from the sidewalk into adjacent parking spaces offering people a place to stop, to sit, and to rest while taking in the activities of the street…

[UPDATE: Help fund this project on Kickstarter external link]

(more…)

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | 18 Comments »

Reimagining Rochester’s Underground

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Kenneth Martin chose to focus on Rochester's abandoned subway tunnel for his Master of Architecture Thesis. This is his concept for breathing new life into the space. [IMAGE: Kenneth Martin]
The abandoned subway tunnel beneath Rochester’s Broad Street has become one of the most popular sites for students of architecture and design to test their creative chops. You may remember the ROC Low Line; an underground park designed by a team of RIT students. Soon after that we reviewed a more serious plan to install an underground shopping mall and entertainment venue called Broad Street Underground.

Yet another thought-provoking concept and set of renderings have been shared with us. This one elaborates on the idea of using the interior space as a nightclub, with various (wet and wild) public spaces…

(more…)

Sunday, August 31st, 2014
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 15 Comments »

Rochester Center City Master Plan: Q&A

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Rochester Center City [PHOTO: RocPx.com]
The City of Rochester Bureau of Planning and Zoning is in the process of updating Center City Master Plan. From the City’s website, “The intent is for this document to be a strategic plan [to] help the city measure and celebrate downtown progress, prioritize further research and analysis, prioritize projects, and help secure funding.”

A draft plan can be viewed online external link, and in a series of open houses the City is now gathering public input on that draft. The last open house is this Wednesday evening (details at the end of this story).

I had a chance to catch up with Jason Haremza, senior planner with the City of Rochester, to ask a few questions about the update…

(more…)

Monday, December 9th, 2013
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Urban Development | 5 Comments »

Put Your Best Face Forward: Parking Belongs in the Rear

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Much commercial development in Rochester places the parking lot between the sidewalk and the building. Can we change this?
By Mike Governale

There’s a new development called I-Square external link being built right now in Irondequoit. It’s one of those “new urban” designs with mixed-use buildings placed along the sidewalk and a little public space in the center of it all. Where’s the parking? Right where it should be, behind the buildings, hidden from the street. The end result will be an attractive street front and a destination for people to come and walk around – maybe spend a little time and money. Very exciting.

But right around the corner, on Hudson Avenue, is a proposal for a new Aldi grocery store. It’s the exact opposite of I-Square – a more typical, drive in & drive out, sub-urban design. This got me thinking…

(more…)

Monday, October 14th, 2013
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | 16 Comments »

Broad St. Underground: ANOTHER Proposal for the Abandoned Subway!

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Lewis Childs, co-founder of Broad Street Underground, explains how Rochester's abandoned subway tunnel could be converted into commercial and retail space. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
Rochester’s old subway tunnel hasn’t seen a passenger car come through here in nearly sixty years. But lately, redevelopment ideas are arriving with unbelievable frequency. A few weeks ago we were talking about the ROC Low Line; an underground park designed by a team of RIT students. This week, another local group has come forward with a different plan. And these guys want to take theirs beyond just an academic study. Stand clear of the yellow line folks – here comes the “Broad Street Underground” concept…

(more…)

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 44 Comments »

ROC Low Line: A (new) Proposal for Rochester’s Abandoned Subway

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Nine RIT students collaborated to design a subterranean urban park inside the old Rochester subway called the ROC Low Line. [RENDERING: RocLowLine.com]
Over the years there have been many proposals for the reuse of Rochester’s abandoned subway tunnel. Some would like to see the tunnel preserved and turned into a living museum external link open to the public. Others would like to turn back the hands of time even further, converting the tunnel back into a water canal external link – as it was part of the Erie Canal pre-1920s.

Even today as the City continues to take steps towards the latter option, new ideas continue to surface. The most recent concept comes from RIT’s architectural program, and a very interesting student project being called the ROC Low Line…

(more…)

Monday, August 12th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 17 Comments »

Road Rage

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

In Oregon, a battle raged for nearly twenty years over the construction of a highway project, proposed by the once acclaimed city planner Robert Moses. If approved, the Freeway would have removed more than 1% of all housing stock in Portland. In the mid 1970s, after the proposal’s defeat, the city opted to build a mass transit infrastructure instead. The result can be seen today in the form of a more pedestrian-friendly and livable city.

(more…)

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
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Posted in Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 16 Comments »

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 »

Harry Davis asks Rochester City Council to Give Up Their Cars

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Harry Davis and his newly formed PAC brought their 'green' development and transportation agenda directly to Rochester City Council last week. (photo: Rochester City Hall, 2009)

Some of you may remember our story on Harry Davis last September. At that time Harry was running a long-shot campaign for Rochester City Council. He didn’t win any of the 5 open council seats. But that didn’t discourage him. He turned right around and announced he’d be write-in candidate for Mayor in November. Mayor Duffy squashed that dream pretty easily on election day. But Harry kept at it. He promptly asked to be hired by Mayor Duffy to lead a “green” urban renewal plan for the city. The Mayor turned him down.

So now Mr. Davis is coming at things from a different angle. Last month he formed his own Political Action Committee (PAC). According to Mr. Davis this new group stands for “green, sustainable development and transportation.” Davis affirms, “The importance of sustainable and efficient transportation for Rochester cannot be overstated. This would include light rail, high-speed rail, bike paths and additional pedestrian options – all of which should complement a rational and minimalist approach to automotive traffic.”

(more…)

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 3 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 »

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 »

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