The City of Rochester has been busy busy busy. Last week we took a look at our new Bike Master Plan. This week we’ll get a chance to review and ask questions about the proposed Center City Circulator. What? You have no idea what a “circulator” is? No worries. Watch the video clip below and learn about Washington D.C.’s new-ish circulator system with Gabe Klein, Director of Washington D.C.’s Department of Transportation (DDOT).
Next, plan to attend the public meeting this Thursday (5:30p) to review Rochester’s circulator plan, study, whatever you call it. For extra credit you should read the study [PDF].
So what Rochester hot spots would you want to see connected with a cool, easy-to-use circulator? The East End? Museums? Four Corners? Cornhill? High Falls? The business district? It’s all in this study. But choosing a route (or routes) won’t be so easy. The planners have narrowed it down to five possible routes (see below). Each has its pros and cons (i.e. cost, complexity, service level, etc.).
This option provides the most coverage, connecting popular locations and parking facilities. But it’s complex; requiring three separate routes. And it’s the most expensive; requiring five buses to keep headways short.
Provides good coverage with two routes plus one additional PM route. According to the study, this option generally provides the best balance of serving commuters and visitors in both day and nighttime. This option is only slightly less expensive than option 1, requiring one less bus.
Two lines that provide good east-west coverage along Main Street, and north-south coverage along State Street, Clinton Avenue and Monroe Avenue. These routes could convert into a nice starter streetcar line. This option would cost the same as option 2.
According to the study, this option provides a system that would most likely represent the future circulator system were the RTS routes along Main Street upgraded to a fixed-guideway system. This option is estimated to cost nearly 47% less than option 1, requiring only 2 buses. However, this alignment leaves much of the west side out of the picture.
This option may not have all the bells and whistles as 1-4, but it’s simplicity might actually make it very easy to use, especially if your just visiting Rochester for the first time. Although you’d might have to walk a few blocks, it does cover much of the Center City. It’s also the cheapest; nearly 70% less expensive than option 1. On the other hand, we don’t want to skimp and have this project fail because we weren’t willing to put the dollars into it.
I know I don’t have to say it, but this will be an EXTREMELY important project if the City chooses to take it on. Finally, we could have a popular and convenient way of navigating downtown. Have dinner on Park Ave, catch a game at Frontier Field, and suck down a cold one at your favorite East End pub – without ever reaching for your car keys! I don’t know about you, but chills just ran down my spine. WHOO WEE!
And this circulator will be important for whole n’other reason… If it succeeds, the study identifies a fixed-guideway system (i.e. STREETCAR/TROLLEY) as a possibility for future implementation:
I swear on my favorite dead pet’s grave, I will ride this circulator everyday, twice a day, if that’s what it takes to make it a success. Let’s make sure this idea doesn’t go the way of the EZ Rider. Come to the public meeting this Thursday ask questions, offer suggestions, and show your support.
Tags: Center City Circulator Study, circulator, City of Rochester, commuter survey, Erik Frisch, public input, public meeting, Rochester, Rochester NY, RTS, shuttle bus, streetcar, transit, transportation, Washington D.C.
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2011 at 12:36 am and is filed under Events, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Mike, help me understand this information. Can you rate the proposed configurations against all the planning criteria combined? Each approach seems to optimize one or two requirements. I’m wondering which approaches, in your opinion, provide the best tradeoffs between (for example) connectivity, integration with other (possibly future) modes of transit, expansion from a small starter system, and the likelihood of being funded? Which have the greatest potential for stimulating development? What suggestions might you have for improving the options put forth in the study?
Also, could you offer your thoughts on why EZ Rider failed? Okay, it was an easy target when things got tight. Just wondering why it was an easy target. How can we do it better?