Today’s Easter Sunday edition of the Democrat and Chronicle featured fairly extensive coverage of the Broad Street Improvement Project and future plans for the subway tunnel. Three articles and a short video dominated the print and online versions of the Local section and gave RochesterSubway.com and ReconnectRochester.org some much appreciated press. The story below is from the D&C and includes comments from myself (Mike Governale of RochesterSubway.com) and Tom Grasso, who’s canal rewatering plan will likely wash away any chance of ever using the old subway tunnel as a rail corridor again…
Sides Weigh In On Plans for Broad Street Aqueduct
Democrat and Chronicle, Sunday April 4, 2010
by Brian Sharp
Just when construction will reach the east end of West Broad Street and the aqueduct is anybody’s guess. But a $25 million plan to tear West Broad off the aqueduct, fill it with water and create public plazas on either end is the showcase that canal enthusiasts are waiting for.
“What is staring us in the face is why not use the old aqueduct for the purpose it was built?” says Tom Grasso, president of the Canal Society of New York State.
“We are in a battle for funds with other cities, other states, and we’ve got the big cannon … let’s shoot it.”
Grasso argues that the aqueduct project is key to grand plans that, proponents hope, could one day restore the canal with a connection to the river all the way to Susan B. Anthony neighborhood. The work going on now is “superficial things that can be changed once people see the water there … once people see how beautiful it looks.”
Mike Governale, 31, thinks the aqueduct project is “overkill,” would pre-empt a return of light rail and that the money would be better spent enhancing the transit system.
Governale launched RochesterSubway.com a year ago, to build interest in the streetcar system of the early- to mid-1900s. He recently started another group, ReconnectRochester, focused on bringing street cars back and supporting other alternative forms of transportation.
“Rochester once had one of the largest streetcar networks in the country, and we sort of ripped that all up in favor of cars and buses, which is what the rest of the country was doing,” said Governale, 31, who lives in Irondequoit and works in High Falls.
Whatever is done with the rehabbed “tunnel,” as most people refer to it, Governale said he hopes it maintains the historic aspect of being the canal and the region’s first economic catalyst, while reflecting the history of the subway.
“The story of the subway is one that everybody around here seems to have a connection to,” he said, “or some sort of interest in.”
D&C “Video Extra”…
Related Articles in Today’s D&C…
Tags: abandoned subway tunnel, Brian Sharp, Broad Street, Broad Street Tunnel Improvement Project, Democrat & Chronicle, Democrat and Chronicle, New York, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, subway, Tom Grasso
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