Rochester Cycling Alliance
Rochester Street Films

This film series—produced in partnership with Floating Home Films—aims to identify, explain and discuss complex transportation concepts, and facilitate community conversation about the current state and future possibilities for mobility in Rochester.

Together with locally produced and archival short films, live panel discussions help to stimulate community conversation on a wide range of related  topics including Rochester’s transportation history, bus transit system, cycling infrastructure, pedestrian life, street design, “car culture”, equity issues, urban sprawl, and more.

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Last up:

Join us for a virtual screening of the inspirational Dutch film Why We Cycle, followed by a live discussion with local leaders and community advocates.

Thursday, September 10
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
On Zoom

Register for the event with an online donation to Reconnect Rochester (suggested $5 – $25).

If you’re unable to make a donation, you are still welcome to attend, just email us at info@ReconnectRochester.org to register.


“The Dutch and their bikes are inseparable. It’s not a form of transportation, it’s a way of living.”

Source: Holland.com guide for visiting the Netherlands

 

The Dutch film Why We Cycle illustrates through beautifully-shot cinematography, why the Netherlands is considered one of the most bike friendly places on the planet.

A look back in history tells us that Rochester was once a leading bastion for biking in the U.S.  During the era of highway construction in the latter part of the 20th century, like most American cities, Rochester succumbed to a car-centric culture and built our existence around the automobile.

We will use this film as a springboard to reflect on how we might get more Rochesterians on bikes again. What societal values make cycling so ubiquitous in the Netherlands, and what can we learn from the Dutch about a way of being so dramatically different from ours?

Following the film, there will be a live discussion with local leaders and community activists. We’ll talk about the individual and societal benefits that are derived from a bike friendly community. We’ll learn how the Rochester 2034 comprehensive plan might help get more people on bikes in our city. We’ll consider how we might capitalize on the “bike boom” spurred by the pandemic that’s happening across the country and here locally

Moderator

Mona Seghatoleslami
Host and Producer
WXXI

Panelists

Mitch Gruber is the Chief Strategy Officer at Foodlink, and a member of Rochester City Council. He Chairs the Parks and Public Works Committee, where he strives to make Rochester a more bikeable and walkable city.

Neely Kelley is a climate movement organizer and bikes-as-transportation advocate. Neely and her family just returned from a year long sabbatical in Copenhagen, Denmark, and she’s committed to taking lessons learned living in one of the most bike-friendly European Capitals, to advancing bike-friendly policies and infrastructure in the Rochester area.

Elizabeth Murphy is a member of the City of Rochester’s Planning Office, and considers it a tremendous privilege and responsibility to work as a planner in her hometown. She credits her bike-centric, free-range childhood growing up in the South Wedge, with cultivating her independence, curiosity, and lifelong love of cities and the outdoors. She’s been a bike commuter in Sacramento, Ithaca, D.C., and Somerville, MA.

Robin Wilt is a Town of Brighton Councilmember, Chair of the Community Services Committee and co-Chair of the Financial and Administrative Services Committee; Organizing Committee Member of Local Progress NY; and co-founder of the grassroots group Citizens for East Avenue Bike Lanes.

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Next up:

UPDATE: In light of the coronavirus crisis, we cancelled the Rochester Street Films event on Wednesday, March 18. We look forward to bringing you the Think Transit First edition on Wednesday, October 28 instead. Save the date!
Street Films: Why We Cycle

Reserve your seat in advance with an online donation to Reconnect Rochester (suggested $5 – $25).

Calling all citizens and non-profit, business and community leaders who care about making Rochester a more just and equitable place.

Join us for short films and live discussion about how we can improve transportation and access in our community.

 

THE CHALLENGE:

12% of Monroe County and 26% of City of Rochester households do not have access to a personal vehicle. The high cost of car ownership places that option out of reach for many, who must rely on public transportation to get to work, the doctor’s office, the grocery store, and many other places in daily life.

In Monroe County, we have an increasing mis-match between where low-income workers live, and jobs they can reach in a reasonable amount of time and cost given the wages they can earn.  A 2018 study commissioned by Reconnect Rochester identifies some of the major contributing factors to this decline in job access.

Bottom line:  transportation limits the ability of too many of our neighbors to access jobs, programs and services, especially those living in poverty and without a car. 

Join us for a community conversation about transportation as a systemic equity issue. If we are serious about anti-poverty efforts, we must challenge ourselves to do better. How might we alleviate this structural barrier if we committed to THINK TRANSIT FIRST (not as an after-thought) in our regional planning and organizational decision making?

THE PROGRAM:

We’ll show highlights of our 2017 film exploring transportation and poverty in our region and what life is like when you can barely afford to buy a bus pass, much less a car. 

We’ll bring you a new short film by Floating Home Films that shares a front line view of the struggle, and highlights the innovative ways some local organizations are meeting transportation needs.

A presentation of local data and statistics by Pete Nabozny, MPA, will help frame the conversation. Finally, a panel discussion moderated by Evan Dawson of WXXI Connections, will help us unpack the films and presentation, and discuss how we can shift from understanding to action.

PANELISTS: 

Larry Knox, Political/Community Coordinator, 1199 SEIU

Wade Norwood, Chief Executive Officer, Common Ground Health

Denise Read, Director of Financial Assistance, Monroe County

James Stack, Executive Director, Genesee Transportation Council

Moderator

Tianna Manon

Tianna Mañón
Editor in Chief
Open Mic Rochester

Panelists

Rev. Judy Lee Hay

Rev. Judy Lee Hay
Swillburg resident and Former Pastor,
Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Parish

Howard Decker, FAIA

Howard Decker, FAIA
Architect, urbanist, author, and Advisory Board member,
Reconnect Rochester

Christine L. Ridarsky

Christine L. Ridarsky
City Historian,
City of Rochester

Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D.

Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, PH.D.
President, Director Of The Doctor Of Ministry Program & Professor Of African American Religious Studies,
Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

 Previously…

The Rochester Street Films below explored topics including accessibility, poverty, urban exploration and car culture.  If you would like to host a mini screening of Rochester Street Films with your friends or neighbors, please contact us.

Many urban neighborhoods throughout the U.S. were destroyed by the construction of new highways during the latter half of the twentieth century. In many cases, low income and minority neighborhoods were selected as locations for these new highways to pass through, with little consideration for the people who would have their homes destroyed and lives upended. This film highlights current efforts to repair the damage done by Rochester’s Inner Loop highway.

The film captures the “Complete Streets Makeover” of N. Clinton Avenue in Rochester, NY.

In 2016 a young child was struck and killed by a vehicle near the corner of Parsells Ave. & Greeley St. in Rochester’s Beechwood neighborhood. In 2018, with the help of Reconnect Rochester, Stantec and a host of other partners, the neighborhood rallied to transform the intersection into a safe and welcoming space for everyone. This is the story of their “Complete Streets Makeover.”

This film focuses on the lives of three Rochesterians. Cee Cee, Nassir, and Eve give us a firsthand look at what life is like when you can barely afford to buy a bus pass, much less a car. After you watch the film, be sure to check out the live presentation and panel discussion here.

Ericka Jones, a Systems Advocate at Center for Disability Rights, focuses on a segment of our population often overlooked. For people with disabilities, Ericka shows us how running a simple errand requires careful planning days in advance. Ironically, even the streets themselves can become barriers to living a productive life.

Alex Freeman has previously made several films about local cyclists. With this project Alex attempts to understand why the automobile has had such a grip on the hearts and minds of Rochester commuters.

Nate Butler grew up around cars. Learning to work on them with his dad as a kid, he just figured that cars were the only way to get around. Now a student at R.I.T., Nate has taken up cross-country running and he’s learning something new about his community with every step.

Rochester NY in February. It’s 19ºF and the ground is slick with snow and ice. But Mona Seghatoleslami, host of WXXI Classical 91.5 FM will brave the cold attempting to ride her bike from her home in Brighton to her job in downtown Rochester (about 4 miles). Afterwards, Mona heads to Tryon Bike shop to find out what type of gear she’ll need for serious winter cycling.

Transportation planning is about giving people choices. Interview with Erik Frisch, Transportation Specialist for the City of Rochester.

Transportation is key for economic development and making a great city. Interview with Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, President of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation.

Alex Freeman introduces us to several Rochesterians who choose alternate modes of transportation.

For some perspective, Rochester Street Films looks back at how attitudes towards urban planning and transportation have changed over the last century. Remember this one?

Sponsors

Rochester Street Films is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors.

WXXI
The Community Foundation
Pace - Bike Share

And by:

Highland Planning
Hubshout
LaBella
Lori's Natural Foods
SWBR
TRU Yoga
Become a Sponsor Today!

Supporters

Editions Printing
The Little Theatre
Become a Sponsor Today!

Producers

Reconnect Rochester
Floating Homes Films

We welcome sponsorship and advertising support for Rochester Street Films. See all sponsor levels and advertising opportunities and contact us at info@ReconnectRochester.org to express your interest.

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