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New Rochester-to-Henrietta Multimodal Connection Planned

April 1st, 2015

Rendering of Proposed Multimodal Corridor connecting Henrietta with downtown Rochester.
By Matthew Denker

[PLEASE NOTE: This was an April Fools posting. Joke’s over.]

RochesterSubway.com has just learned of preliminary plans for what’s being called the Rochester Southern Communities Active Transportation (R-SCAT) project. By building on Monroe County’s original 1947 highway plan, Rochester, Brighton, and Henrietta have agreed to the construction of a new, multimodal connection from downtown Rochester to the New York State Thruway…

First, let’s take a look at the 1947 plan. We’ve highlighted the original, unfinished portion of I-390 so you can compare to the new multimodal “SCAT” plan.

1947 Highway Plan for Monroe County, NY

While this might have been a passable plan in 1947, it is now 2015, and we clearly understand the importance of providing transportation options for all citizens.

With the recent active transportation plan being developed in Henrietta external link as well as the master bike plans for both Rochester external link and Brighton external link, the time was right for all three communities to team up and think outside the box.

We’ve obtained preliminary plan documents from NYSDOT and below is an overview of the entire length of the multimodal corridor. A more detailed look at each of the 8 corridor segments can be found at the bottom of the article.

Here is a look at the route…

Overview of proposed Multimodal Corridor connecting Henrietta with downtown Rochester.

And here is a typical cross-section of the plan…

Cross-section of proposed Multimodal Corridor connecting Henrietta with downtown Rochester.

As you can see, with dedicated center-running bus lanes and fully separated bike lanes, the pedigree of this multimodal design is light years ahead of other weak “multimodal” construction projects, such as the 202 Parkway external link in Pennsylvania and the US36 widening external link in Boulder, CO.

• • •

Jack Moore, Henrietta Town Supervisor says, “this new connection will offer everyone in Rochester, Brighton, and Henrietta better access to one another whether they have an electric BMW or don’t even own a bike!”

With RTS buses running in dedicated lanes every 48 minutes at rush hour and every 120 minutes during off-peak hours, Rochester will finally have the rapid transit system it was promised when the subway was closed in the 1950s. High-frequency, high-quality transit service, all for the regularly low fare of $1.

Sources tell us the budget for the project is expected to be $800 million dollars. Even better is the source of the funding for this much-needed project. We’ve been told that Rochester will be paying only $100,000 for its portion of the road, while Brighton will pay only $15,000 and Henrietta only $500. The remainder of the budget has been committed to by Governor Cuomo and will come from a state windfall of $4.5 billion thanks to a string of legal settlements with banks.

In an email to RocSubway Governor Cuomo says, “For a whopping 20% less than the Buffalo Billion, this new multimodal facility will provide greater access to some upstate city for all citizens while easing the commute for tens of thousands who have waited over 67 years for this plan to come to fruition. I cannot think of a better investment opportunity in all of Western New York (other than maybe STAMP).”

Even RIT President Bill Destler called us up to let us know how excited the RIT community is. “Not since RIT was displaced by the original 1947 highway plan, have we had this kind of opportunity to reconnect with the city that gave us our name. Also, at RIT we are very committed to sustainability. We’re even installing EV charging stations in everyone of our 53 parking lots campus wide. So for us, this multimodal project cannot be built quickly enough and we welcome its direct connection to our campus.”

Based on the generous bike lanes and the superb transit access, we cannot help but wholeheartedly support the expedient construction of this new, multimodal path from Downtown Rochester to Henrietta. My wife and I are already planning to abandon the Corn Hill site for our home and build in Henrietta. This is nothing if not the boost that Brighton and Henrietta have always deserved and missed out on all these years.

• • •

Finally, here are the detailed views of all 8 segments of the new corridor. Connections to local roads are shown as large white rectangles. Each connection will include a bus stop, entrances to the bike lanes, as well as a new, surface lot for no less than 300 cars to allow motorists to park and ride the bus downtown. Segments are numbered from 1, at the NYS Thruway, to 8 at 490 in Rochester.

Segment 1

Segment 1 of Proposed R-SCAT

Segment 2

Segment 2 of Proposed R-SCAT

Segment 3

Segment 3 of Proposed R-SCAT

Segment 4

Segment 4 of Proposed R-SCAT

Segment 5

Segment 5 of Proposed R-SCAT

Segment 6

Segment 6 of Proposed R-SCAT

Segment 7

Segment 7 of Proposed R-SCAT

Segment 8

Segment 8 of Proposed R-SCAT

A few residential buildings will of course need to be cleared, but those are mainly in the City. And we’re told by NYSDOT that an environmental impact study will not be needed due to the added benefits of the new “green” infrastructure. This will help fast track the project. If all goes according to plan, construction will start this summer, and the new I-390A will be open by April 1, 2016.

• • •

Public Input Is Welcome

The public input period for this project is now closed. But you can contact Timothy T. Mills, the R-SCAT Project Manager at 267-354-0465 to give your thanks and praise.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 12:00 am and is filed under Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

34 Responses to “New Rochester-to-Henrietta Multimodal Connection Planned”

  1. Jason Haremza says:

    Well played sir.

  2. Bill J says:

    You had me for at least a full paragraph. Good work.

  3. Michael Brisson says:

    What is not clear is how this will impact properties and adjacent neighborhoods. How will this multi-lane behemoth come down Goodman St. South past Highland Pk and the Ellwanger-Barry and Swillburg neighborhoods to the north without the wholesale removal of homes?

  4. steve says:

    Oh. Almost fell for it.

  5. Julie says:

    April Fool?

  6. Tim O'Connell says:

    NO! NO! NO! All wrong… this plan road will run thru the 1890 Olmsted designed Highland Park, Nationally registered landscape landmark & in a city preservation district…This is the same plan from the 1970’s that was defeated by the Swillberg Neighborhood that kept 390 out of the city & connecting at Goodman Street & 490

  7. Michael says:

    Tim O’Connell…not much different than what has already been done so many times across this country, let alone this state (Buffalo, NYC).

    Hell, they’re even taking land from a nationally registered landscape in Chicago (Washington and/or Jackson Park) to build a new presidential library…

  8. Tim O'Connell says:

    April Fools Joke???

  9. Scott Wagner says:

    Ok, ou guys. Best April Fools joke I have seen in a long time! You actually had my stomach in knots for a few moments until I looked at the calendar.

  10. Christopher Brandt says:

    This is exactly what I have been waiting for! Bugaboo Creek and Krispy Kreme are now only minutes away.

    I wish they would extend it up through St. Paul Boulevard so I could just take a shuttle the whole way and bypass the boring city.

  11. John L says:

    Well played!

    Happy 4/1!

  12. Maggie says:

    This runs directly down Goodman St and behind my house. There is already so much traffic we may as well live next to the expressway…now I guess we will! Time to sell before word gets out on this project…there goes my property value!

  13. Maggie – it’s a shame it doesn’t run over your house, then instead of selling now, you could hold out for more money from the state later! Maybe you could trade properties with someone in the ROW before they find out about the project.

  14. Chris – my understanding was that the original plan was to use the east side of the inner loop to run the path all the way north to Charlotte through Durand Eastman Park, but because the city has already started filling in that part of the loop, it was no longer feasible. Given time I am sure locations of both restaurants will open in Irondequoit!

  15. Martin Edic says:

    I think it needs more lanes. And what about a dedicated skateboard lane? 😉

  16. Martin – the original plan had skateboard lanes, but they were dropped over the protests of the southern communities as inviting crime into their family neighborhoods.

  17. daggar says:

    Aw man. Has the plans for the Ikea rest stop at the Highland Park war memorial been canned? That was the best part.

  18. Some Schmuck says:

    I figured it was a joke when they named it “R-SCAT”…LOL!!!!

  19. Chris Caraccilo says:

    I heard at a news conference this morning they have decided to make it a sunken expressway similar to the Inner Loop. In addition there will be a boating lane that connects to the newly watered canal downtown to Conesus Lake.

  20. April Fool says:

    So many idiots, so little time…..

  21. Richard DeSarra says:

    In Brighton we preserved a piece of the proposed expressway route on the west side of Clinton Avenue South between Highland and Elmwood Avenues. See Persimmon Park.

    NYS DOT can’t have it back,and that is no joke!

  22. carl binger says:

    Wow! Until I looked at the comments I didn’t know I was being duped! It sounded really good though. Bummer.

  23. Michael Krauklis says:

    I can’t tell you how excited I was while reading this. Such disappointment, both at the let down when I realized what day it was, and at my gullibility… I made it through the whole article. Touche.

  24. Jim Mayer says:

    This is wonderful. Think of all the construction jobs it will bring and the brilliant way that the project accounts for future maintenance costs. I take back all the nasty thoughts I’ve every had about NYSDOT.

  25. Matthew McDermott says:

    Love it. The only thing missing from your rendering is the pictures of people playing Frisbee and walking their dogs like in the Costco site plan 🙂

  26. Jason Haremza says:

    Lest we forget, it wasn’t that long ago (1981) that we were still building expressways (I-390) through Olmsted Parks (Genesee Valley). We should have known better by 1981.

  27. Kevin Kelley says:

    Is he popping a wheelie in that first rendering? Fantastic. Must be from the sheer jubilation of so many acres and acres of glorious new asphalt.

  28. John says:

    Probably a lot of disappointed people when they realized this was a joke.

  29. Scott K says:

    @Jason, sorry, they would have built 390 through Genesee Valley Park much sooner but for that petition they had my 2nd grade class at Our Lady of Good Counsel sign against it way back when…

  30. Where are we to put highways if not in parks?






    I mean, you couldn’t possibly want to bulldoze entire neighborhoods for them, could you?

    http://goo.gl/KqLAL4 – Whoops! Maybe that’s another place to put highways.

  31. Huh. As usual, we need to offer our thanks to Danny and Joel, I guess.

    And damn, there goes our billion.

  32. Madi says:

    When I first came to Roc a few years ago I thought it was bizarre you have to drive in big circles to get anywhere. I knew this plan was too good to be true when I saw a straight connective line. You have a great imagination!

  33. Kevin Yost says:

    I wish I would have known about this while the public comment period was still in effect. I know that there was a meeting on active transportation at Henrietta Town Hall in late March and don’t really know what that was about.

    There should be a study as to whether or not an expressway tunnel under Highland Park and Swillburg is feasible to have such an expressway between the I-390/I-590 split to South Avenue and Woodbury Blvd. using one of the two ramps from South Avenue currently used to get on I-490 east.

    Also, there should be a light rail line along the Genesee River from Charlotte and along State and Exchange Streets and across the river using the former LVRR bridge that could also accomodate pedestrians and along the U of R campus down to the RIT campus and end at the Erie Station Village by Konar Development with a branch line to where High Point Mills used to be at Lehigh Station Road with stops at Southtown Plaza, Marketplace Mall and Calkins Road as well.

  34. Anthony says:

    You are an expert at this April Fools thing…undoubtedly the best April fools joke this year! Good Job!

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