Posted by: Mike Governale
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
RSVP on Facebook
Some more details & diagrams after the jump…
At the first public meeting in November 2011 four possible sites for the new station were presented: The current site at 320 Central Avenue, State Street on the existing Kodak parking lot site, Andrews Street on the west side of the river, and the old post office on Cumberland.
78% of those who commented preferred the current site at 320 Central Avenue (site #1) over the other three options. Planners like this site as well because the tracks are already configured appropriately in this location and the site has a straight line of site to Rochester’s downtown core. This site was also where Rochester’s beloved Claude Bragdon station once stood. This was also the site chosen by Reconnect Rochester for our concept plan.
Other considerations for site selection were:
- Area for 95+/- parking spaces for Amtrak Station Operations
- and for 80+/- parking spaces for Trailways / Local Business Use
- Strong public preference for secured parking
- 4 – 5 Bus Bays for Trailways NY Operations
- 2 – 3 Bus Staging / Layover Parking Spaces
- Pedestrian Access / ADA Accessibility
- Drop-Off Loop, Taxi / Limo Staging Spaces
- Enhanced Connectivity to Downtown Core
Also for consideration are the building’s functional requirements:
- waiting area
- ticket counter
- ticket office
- ticket counter queue
- Quik-Trak machines
- baggage check
- baggage claim queue
- bagroom/secure storage
- first class lounge (is this a business lounge? not sure.)
- public ADA restrooms… men, women, family room
- station manager’s office
- lead clerk/supervisor office
- employee ADA restroom
- employee accounting/locker/lunch/lounge
- equipment room (tickets/C&S)
- agent office closet
- records storage room
- safe storage room
- storage room
- custodial closet
- drinking fountains
- vending area
- communications/public pay phone
- information kiosk
- public address system
- passenger information display
- conference room
- police sub-station
- entrance vestibules (2)
- circulation area
- escalator, passenger elevator, stairs/ramps
So then we have two options for how the station will be situated on the site and in relation to the street, tracks, and parking…
One option places the building up against the tracks with a parking lot situated between the building and the street. While this option aligns with tracks it does not reinforce the urban fabric of the neighborhood because it is situated behind a large surface parking lot—not pedestrian friendly and a bit ugly too.
Reconnect Rochester would prefer something closer to the second option…
This option is closer to the original site orientation of Bragdon’s Union Station.
With the building closer to Central Avenue this plan reinforces the urban fabric and provides more opportunity for lease space (shops, a café, etc.). In addition, the parking lot could be tucked behind the building—hidden from the street.
It’s also important to note that both of these site design alternatives call for an elevated pedestrian bridge to connect the station to the train platforms. In our concept plan Reconnect Rochester called for the existing Bragdon/Union Station tunnels to be renovated and reused. Because the platforms sit one level above the station ground floor, any elevated pedestrian bridge would need to be roughly 3 to 4-stories high—it would need to pass over the tracks/platforms and provide enough clearance below for passing trains. This means passengers would need to take stairs/elevators up to the bridge, and then back down to the platforms. Why not just use the tunnels that are already there beneath the platforms? It would mean a much easier trek to the trains! Oh, and the train platforms should also be covered with a canopy, please and thank you.
Expanded Site Alternatives
Finally, below are two possibilities for the expanded site, including the awkward trapezoid lot on the opposite side of Central Avenue Since the option of building a parking ramp/garage doesn’t seem to be on the table, some of this area will need to be used for overflow parking. Notice the 80+ parking spaces on the Joseph Avenue side of the lot, and the urban plaza on the Clinton Avenue side…
In this option vehicles would enter and exit the overflow parking lot on the Joseph Avenue side. Although we would have preferred to keep all of the parking area on the north side of Central Avenue, this is option is preferred over the previous one.
So that’s our update. Please don’t forget to come to the public meeting and presentation and bring your comments and suggestions with you!