Rochester Street Films

Next up:
Rochester Street Films will be back in September 2018. Check back soon for details.

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:

The Trolley - Rochester Street Films

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

The electric streetcar gave us a ride that changed everything. Across a century-and-a-half, trolleys carried billions of people to work and play and home again. Gifted with extreme efficiency and an egalitarian outlook, it helped revitalize and re-build the urban landscape.

The Trolley propels audiences on an electrifying and music-charged journey through great cities across the globe, revealing the trolley’s own roller coaster ride: from humble birth to explosive, world-transforming success, to near obliteration in the automobile age, to its technological renaissance in the 21st century. From the trolley’s kinetic vantage, we witness a century and-a-half of explosive change and discover the hidden magic of the trolley itself. Step aboard for a ride across the eras and through thirty-nine cities and sixteen countries.

Our program will also feature presentations on the history and future of streetcars in Rochester, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A with local experts who will help us unpack it all.


Howard Decker, author, architect, urbanist and
member of Reconnect Rochester’s Advisory Council

Jim Dierks, Secretary and Trustee at
the New York Museum of Transportation

DeWain Feller, rail advocate, urbanist, and
chair of Reconnect Rochester’s Rail Work Group

Carlos Mercado, rail advocate and
member of Reconnect Rochester’s Advisory Council


Tianna Manon

Tianna Mañón
Editor in Chief
Open Mic Rochester


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

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

*No one will be turned away at the door for lack of funds, but seats will go quickly. Reserve your spot ahead of time.


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.

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?


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

The Community Foundation
Pace - Bike Share
Highland Planning
Lori's Natural Foods
TRU Yoga
Become a Sponsor Today!


Editions Printing
The Little Theatre
Become a Sponsor Today!


Reconnect Rochester
Floating Homes Films

We are currently seeking sponsors for Rochester Street Films 2018. See all sponsor levels and advertising opportunities and contact us if you or your organization are interested in supporting this program.