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Full Speed Ahead for Rochester’s Intermodal Station

Notes by: Howard Decker

This is one of the architectural alternatives for Rochester's new intermodal rail station. It's a scaled down modern interpretation of the long demolished Union Station by Claude Bragdon.

Where: AMTRAK Station
When: 10:30am, 12.10.12
Who: Congresswoman Lousie Slaughter, NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald, AMTRAK representative Bill Hollister, Mayor Richards, Councilman Miller

What:

Bill Hollister, Principal Officer Policy & Development at Amtrak:

AMTRAK will be owner, operator, and maintainer of the new station. This is a bit of a deviation from our policies nationally, but we have been convinced this is the correct course of action in Rochester.

National annual ridership is currently at 31.2 million, 11.5 million (one third of all national traffic) in NYS, 1.8 million on the Empire line, and 145,00 passengers per year in Rochester, up from 76,000 five years ago. This represents a very substantial increase.

Funding is in place. AMTRAK is ready to move forward.

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Help Support Rochester’s Intermodal Station

Posted by: DeWain Feller

Rochester's Intermodal Transit Center needs your support. Please leave your name in the comments section and sign on to our letter.

Rochester’s new Intermodal Transportation Center is on the drafting table but that does not mean this much needed project is a done deal. [Learn more about the project external link] The station and site costs are estimated to be $27.3 million, and track and signal upgrades are approximately $10.4 million, bringing the estimated project cost to $37.7 million. A portion of the funding has been identified, but not all.

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Rochester Intermodal Rail Station Update

Posted by: Mike Governale

This is one of the architectural alternatives for Rochester's new intermodal rail station. It's a scaled down modern interpretation of the long demolished Union Station by Claude Bragdon.
The City of Rochester, NYSDOT, and Federal Railroad Administration will hold a public meeting to present draft concepts for Rochester’s new intermodal transportation center (NOTE: This is the Amtrak/Greyhound/Trailways station, NOT the RTS Bus Terminal). A presentation will be made at 5:30pm. Some of the key points will be around site selection, the functional requirements of the station, architectural style, and expanded site plan.

Attend the Public Meeting & Presentation:
See which site is being recommended and comment on
the station design, layout, and amenities:
5pm, Wednesday, 5/30/2012, at Rochester Riverside Convention Center external link
RSVP on Facebook external link

Some more details & diagrams after the jump

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Using Passenger Rail to Create a New Economic Zone

Posted by: Carlos Mercado

The populations of Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Toronto are closer than we realize. With good, high speed transportation links we become an economic powerhouse. [Flickr Photo: Calori & Vanden-Eynden]

Rochester, NY has about 1,035,000 population in its metro area; Buffalo is slightly larger with 1,124,000; and Syracuse has about 646,000. The combined metro population for the three major cities along the old New York Central Water Level Route is 2,804,000.

In terms of rank, Buffalo is 50th, Rochester is 51st, and Syracuse is 81st. As a combined area, we would become 19th largest, edging out Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, FL and just behind St. Louis. Nice, eh?

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A New Intermodal Station for Rochester, New York.

A New Intermodal Station for Rochester, NY. Conceptualized by the volunteers at Reconnect Rochester. Now you can order your own reprint of this design panel.

If you haven’t heard, the City of Rochester is requesting proposals for a new combined Amtrak/Greyhound/Trailways station. We don’t know about you, but we’re giddy with excitement. Rochester has had more than its share of great transit stations – sadly, many have been lost to history. Now, finally we have an opportunity to build a respectable gateway to Rochester that will serve our region well and become a landmark for many many generations.

Reconnect Rochester is not standing idly by. You know what they say about idle hands. Well these hands have been busy drawing up our own vision for the most perfect intermodal transit station Rochester is certainly deserving of.

We hope you feel this design is cool enough to share. Share it on Facebook. Email it to a friend or your local officials and representatives. Help us make this concept a reality.

More details about our concept after the jump…

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Rochester Takes Big Step Toward New Intermodal Station…

Sayonara Amshack... Your days are numbered.

The City of Rochester is requesting proposals for a scoping project external link. The project will inventory and analyze the site and corresponding buildings used by Amtrak, Trailways and Greyhound. The end product will be a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) compliant scoping document that lays the foundation for final design, build-out, and occupancy of a new Intermodal Transportation Center.

Reconnect Rochester is proud to be a stakeholder of this project. And BOY OH BOY do we have ideas we want to share.

Here’s a summary of what the City is asking from bidders:

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Reconnecting America: What Rochester Can Learn from John Robert Smith

John Robert Smith, founder of Reconnecting America, will speak at the Memorial Art Gallery on May 10, 2010.Rochester’s dazzling urbanites, development gurus, transit afficionados, preservation honchos, political luminaries, and architectural stewards are all very pleased that the Rochester Regional Community Design Center’s final lecture of the 2009-2010 season brings John Robert Smith to the Memorial Art Gallery on May 10th at 7PM.  This enthuasism will surely spread like wildfire once the community at large understands what a tremendous impact this man has had in the realms of community revitalization and improving housing and mobility choices for citizens in communities with situations similar to Rochester.

The future of this or any community hinges on the following concepts, all of which are likely to be discussed at the speech and reception:
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Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line

The following article was published at RochesterSubway.com on 2010/02/16. Two weeks later 6 citizens got together and Reconnect Rocheseter was born.

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.

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