ROCHESTER, NY – Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) and Mayor Tom Richards (D) announced a $17.7 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to bring the Eastern section of the Inner Loop to grade, a project that Rep. Slaughter and the Mayor have spearheaded for many years. The grant – the third largest TIGER grant in the nation – will be used to “bridge the moat” between the city center and communities like the Neighborhood of the Arts, Park Avenue, and the South Wedge that have been separated by Rochester’s Inner Loop since the 1950s…
Posted by: Bob Williams, VP of Advocacy
After tasting some success during the last round of the USDOT’s TIGER grant program ($15 Million was awarded for Rochester’s intermodal station), the city has jumped back into the aptly named moat with another application that we at Reconnect Rochester are extremely excited about. There is a very conscious effort afoot on the part of city staff to rid us once and for all of a sizable portion of the Inner Loop, that underutilized sunken ring road and choker of downtown connectivity.
While the Intermodal Station took precedence in the 2012 fight for funds, this most recent expressway removal proposal is the best we’ve seen yet. A financial winner just on its face, in terms of reducing future maintenance burden, the latest from city hall is very serious about reconnection and reintegration. Take a look at the latest design draft…
Posted by: Bob Williams
Imagine a Rochester without an noose-like expressway dividing downtown-adjacent neighborhoods on the north and east sides. An obstacle to true connectivity for over 50 years, imagine the loop and its ramps filled in to grade instantaneously at the snap of your fingers. Naturally the next question arrives in our minds immediately, ‘How will we utilize this reclaimed real estate?’
If the goals are to reconnect severed neighborhood conduits, promote commerce, reduce car dependence, ensure ease of navigation, and foster a dynamic and vibrant streetscape, the answer lies not in a grandiose vision of the future, but more likely in our historic roots.
Consider the example of Alexandria, Virginia. Originally platted in 1749 on land donated by Philip and John Alexander, six fundamental tenets of Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) differentiate this inviting river city from generic drivable suburbanism…
*Cross Posted by the Moderate Urban Champion
Members of Reconnect Rochester had a unique opportunity Monday afternoon. We were invited to sit in and participate in a roundtable discussion featuring representation of the Genesee Transportation Council, the Empire State Passengers Association, the Rochester Rail Transit Committee, and the keynote speaker of that evening’s lecture, John Robert Smith.
Not all of the biggest statements came from Smith himself, but his insight into federal agencies and funding acquisition from said agencies was very valuable to our coalition. Also heartening was the recognition by all parties of potential energy realities. This acceptance set the imperative tone regarding the necessity for improved transit in the region.
Smith’s greatest criticism, one that was repeated during the public lecture, was a lack of obvious attraction marketing, and the associated transportation options, to downtown hotel guests and travelers who arrive by train. The implication is that we aren’t successfully steering travelers with money to spend to restaurants and other cultural amenities. A set of newer signage as part of an enhanced wayfinder system was installed recently, but it is proving to be geared toward motorized tourist travel.
If you were at the Circulator Study Public Meeting tonight, THANK YOU! Turn out was good. It could’ve been even better… but there were plenty of people there asking questions and giving input and the room had a constant buzz. Even the media thought enough to make an appearance. There will be another public meeting in June/July to share the preliminary findings of the study so stay tuned and continue to share this story with friends and neighbors. We’ll need even more of you at the next meeting.