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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 Next up:

Join us for a film screening and panel discussion about how we can build a more multi-modal future.

Life on Wheels - June 2022

Reserve your seat by making an online donation to Reconnect Rochester (suggested $5 – $25).

If you aren’t able to make a donation, you are still welcome to attend.


A look back in history reminds us that Rochesterians once enjoyed a world-class subway and trolley system, and our region was a bastion for biking in the U.S.  But like most American cities, during the era of highway construction in the latter part of the 20th century, Rochester succumbed to a car-centric culture and built our existence around the automobile.

We will use Life on Wheels as a springboard to reflect on where we are in Monroe County on our way to transforming once again to be a place where people and vibrancy are prioritized over speeding vehicles, and where seas of asphalt are replaced with shared roadways and green space.

Following the film, there will be live discussion with local leaders moderated by David Streever, Digital Content Manager at WXXI News. As a recent transplant to Rochester, David will bring a fresh perspective to the conversation.

Over the course of the evening, we will:

~ Talk about the individual and societal benefits we gain as we inspire more people to get around by bus, by rail, on bike and on foot

~ Learn about the City and County‘s plans to invest more in transit, biking and walking, and the steps RTS is taking to improve our public transit system

~ Hear from State Senator Samra Brouk about how state level policies and funding can help drive systemic change

~ Discuss how we’re using the energy of the local climate movement to lessen car dependency and carbon emissions


Ana Liss, Director of Planning & Development, Monroe County
Abby McHugh-Grifa, Executive Director, Climate Solutions Accelerator
Rich Perrin, Commissioner of Dept of Env Services, City of Rochester
Miguel Velazquez, Deputy CEO, Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority


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.

This film explores transportation as a systemic equity issue, shares a front line view of the struggle, and highlights the innovative ways some local organizations are meeting transportation needs. Interested in the full virtual event screening, complete with follow-up panel discussion? Check that out here.

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.

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.

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?


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

The Community Foundation
Lori's Natural Foods
Become a Sponsor Today!


Editions Printing


Reconnect Rochester
Floating Homes Films

We welcome sponsorship and advertising support for Rochester Street Films. Contact us at to learn more and express your interest.