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Art of Conversation

A new Transit Center began operating, demolition began on the old Inner Loop, and a 1000-bike sharing system may soon launch, along with hundreds of other projects in the region. What should we make of them or of others not planned?

In the early days of Reconnect, we shared more ideas, news, and opinion around a table, but nowadays a tight agenda occupies our meetings. Though smaller workgroups have formed, they’re tasked onto specific projects. In so, we miss larger opportunities to connect from wider ideas and to form new ones, and thus #innovate. Salons let us rejuvenate some of this early energy.

Conversations in a salon need not focus on our projects, or projects around the region, nor even transform into action. They may wander onto tangential topics. This keeps the conversation fresh, and also opens the floor to others who might not otherwise participate in monthly salons about transportation or land-use reform.

Salons practice an art of conversation, of listening and sharing ideas. Convened in a space comfortable for ten to twenty, and hosted historically by educated patronesses of a royal court, they’ve taken form this century convened by inspired hosts. Help us revive the form.

* Or use the form directly and you can revise your response later.



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Join Roc Improvement Society & Reconnect Rochester at Scotland Yard Pub (1/27)

Join Roc Improvement Society & Reconnect Rochester at Scotland Yard Pub, Tuesday (1/27) at 6:30pm.
Posted by: Mike Governale, president and co-founder of Reconnect Rochester

On Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30pm, Reconnect Rochester will get together with the Rochester Improvement Society for food, drinks and thoughtful conversation at Scotland Yard Pub. We’d love to see YOU there!

For $5 you’ll get pasta/pizza, a free beer, and entry into an awesome raffle drawing. Raffle prizes include a Hart’s Grocers gift card, a Rochester T-shirt package, framed poster/prints from RochesterSubway.com, and tickets to Landmark Society’s 2015 Inside Downtown Tour. See the prizes here.

You can pay at the door, however, we have less than 50 spots remaining. Order your tickets online now and don’t miss out!

See event details…

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Bus Stop Cubes Are Winning Community Support

Reconnect Rochester's bus stop cube seats are winning support from the community, including RTS and The Strong Museum of Play.
Posted by: Mike Governale, president and co-founder of Reconnect Rochester

Last month we unveiled an idea to put seating at area bus stops. Our little CUBE seats have since garnered local external link and national external linkattention, and we’ve also been approached by The Harley School, Rochester Community Design Center, and The Strong National Museum of Play about partnering to make this idea a reality! Today, Rochester Transit Service (RTS) official threw their support behind the cubes as well…

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Bus Stop Cubes: a place to rest while you wait

Reconnect Rochester is aiming to come up with a solution for the lack of seating at bus stops in our region.
Posted by: Mike Governale, president and co-founder of Reconnect Rochester

Anyone who has ever used public transportation in Rochester is painfully aware of two things: At some point will have to wait for your bus, and when you do, you will probably be standing. But now, Reconnect Rochester is aiming to come up with a solution…

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NEW Board Members: Welcome Renee Stetzer and Phillip Borrelli

We are super excited to announce the addition of Renee Stetzer and Phillip Borrelli to the Reconnect Rochester Board of Directors!

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Renee Stetzer

Renee StetzerRenee Stetzer will serve as head of Reconnect Rochester’s Pedestrian Safety & Complete Streets committee and has already begun to lead community efforts on this front.

Renee is a public relations and branding professional with over 15 years experience in the communications industry. She started her career as an analyst and holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College. She worked for Fleishman-Hillard International Communications in Washington DC for many years before relocating to Rochester, where she provides PR, social media and research support for an online marketing firm and a local food organization. She is a pedestrian advocate and co-founder of Rocville.com external link, an online community resource devoted to improving the quality of urban life for Rochesterians by advocating for more walkable, vibrant neighborhoods.

She currently serves on the board for The Horizons Student Enrichment Program, a summer learning program for low income City of Rochester students. She is an avid runner and swimmer. And she’s a big fan of vegetables and front porches.

• • •

Phillip G. Borrelli

Phillip G. BorrelliAs a Rochester NY-based attorney, Phillip Borrelli has served Reconnect Rochester in an advisory role since the group’s inception. He has since successfully guided the organization through the process of establishing its non-profit status.

Phillip focuses his practice on affordable housing, and historic preservation. Phillip is a graduate of SUNY at Buffalo School of Law and is admitted to the New York State bar. In 2012, Phillip opened his own law practice, and in 2014 he partnered with Jason Yots to form Borrelli & Yots PLLC external link.

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Help Move Us Into 2015

Reconnect Rochester needs your support to keep rolling in 2015. [PHOTO: John Derycke]
Posted by: Mike Governale, President, Reconnect Rochester

Have you been following Reconnect Rochester over the past few years? Do you like the idea of increased transit options and walkable, more vibrant neighborhoods? If so, please consider making a year-end contribution and keep us rolling into 2015…

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Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism

Benjamin Ross event flyer.
On Monday, September 29, Reconnect Rochester will host a discussion with author and transit advocate Benjamin Ross. Mr. Ross will be at the Public Library on Monroe Ave. at 6:30 p.m. to talk about his new book, Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism external link. Afterwards, follow us across the street to Aladdin’s for more conversation with Ross, and enjoy some free munchies courtesy of Reconnect Rochester. Please join this free event on Facebook external link and bring a friend or two. We hope to see you there!

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ROC Transit Day Reflection: Birding By Bus

ROC Transit Day 2014 gives Rochesterians an excuse for a 'stay-cation'. [PHOTO: Jason & Stefanie Schwingle]
Posted by: Brenda Massie, Board Member and Secretary, Reconnect Rochester.

As July winds down, I find myself thinking about how summers in Rochester fly by. Already, one month has passed since our annual ROC Transit Day. This year brought new merchants and vendors, new fun events like the swing dance and treasure hunt; but more importantly, a new wave of enthusiasm for public transit.

As the Secretary of Reconnect, I sometimes find myself trying to convince people that using public transit can be an enjoyable and even fun way to get around.  I tell them if you ride the bus you may meet people and see things you may not have noticed if you were driving in a car.

So, when I received the following email titled “Birding By Bus” from a brave neighbor that decided to try the bus on ROC Transit Day, I felt inclined to share. These ROC Transit Day-ers used their passes to have an unexpected stay-cation and noticed some wonderful things about our City along the way…

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Get FREE ROC Transit Day Fare Cards for Your Organization

Get FREE ROC Transit Day Fare Cards for Your Organization
For ROC Transit Day 2013 we gave away nearly 1,000 transit fare cards and asked Rochesterians to ditch their cars for one day in support of a healthier community. 30 different forward-thinking organizations external link (and many intrepid individuals) pledged to ride public transit that day.

This year ROC Transit Day external link is Thursday, June 19, 2014. All kinds of free fun and great deals external link will be available for anyone who leaves their car at home and uses public transit for the day.

To request FREE all-day fare cards for your organization…

Simply use this form external link or contact info@ReconnectRochester.org or 585-354-3232.

But hurry, we only have a limited supply and these babies go quickly. First come first serve.

And remember, public transit, walking and biking are healthy options for our bodies and the Rochester community. So get onboard!

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ROC Transit Day is important! But you don’t have to take my word for it…

ROC Transit Day is important. But don't take my word for it. Watch the video and hear what these young professionals have to say about it.
The days are getting longer, and (slowly) the air is getting warmer. Soon enough the sweet scent of Lilac will be in the air. This can only mean one thing… ROC Transit Day external link will soon be here!

If you drive in your car to work alone each day, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why would I want to ride public transit when I can just drive my Nissan Leaf (or whatever)?”

Well, I could list all the reasons why public transportation is healthier for our earth, healthier for our bodies, and healthier for our community. But that would be boring. Instead, watch this video external link and hear it straight from the mouths of your fellow Rochesterians…

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Help Keep Us Moving

Help keep Reconnect Rochester moving in 2014 with a year end, tax-deductible contribution.
As you know, we are an all-volunteer, non-profit organization working to build a more sustainable transportation network for our community. This isn’t easy. To be effective, we need to bring together smart, dedicated people to think up new and creative ways to put these issues in the public spotlight. And we also need money to be able to operate and execute these ideas. I hope you will consider making a year-end contribution to Reconnect Rochester so that we can continue this important work together.

You can make a tax-deductible donation in any amount via PayPal or check. And we’ve also set up all new sponsorship levels with lots of awesome perks for your as our way of saying thanks. Perks include posters, t-shirts, books, and even a free dinner with us at the Owl House!

So as we close out 2013, we’d like to take a look back at the year, and invite you to help us keep moving in 2014…

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A Better Bus Schedule for Rochester

RGRTA has asked for help redesigning one of their most important transit tools. Meet the new RTS bus schedules.

If you’ve been following along, you know RTS has been trying to apply a little design for the betterment of our transit system. RGRTA is currently studying the idea of new bus stop signs. And they’ve already introduced a better bus pass.

But wait, there’s more! RGRTA recently asked for our help redesigning one of the most important transit tools of all; those big, bad, bus schedules…

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ROC Transit Day 2013 Photos!

Photos from ROC Transit Day 2013 [PHOTO: RocPX.com]
The numbers are in, and out of 950 free fare cards we gave out, 172 were used. That may not seem like a big number, but to us it represents 172 new transit users, on top of tens of thousands of Rochesterians who already choose to go car-free every day. Of course, we think Rochester can do better. And now we’ve got a number to beat next year.a

If you were one of those people who participated, thank you! We can’t explain how much fun we had. You’ll just have to check out the photos below. Special thanks goes to Rick U. at RocPX.com, all our sponsors and volunteers external link and all the people who sent in pics from their ROC Transit Day adventures…

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1 Week and 300 Fare Cards Left To Give Away

ROC Transit Day is coming. Lose your car keys on June 20, 2013.
ROC Transit Day external link is just a week away. About 85 local businesses and organizations have signed up to participate on June 20 – either encouraging their employees & members to leave their cars home, or by offering exclusive deals to transit riders external link.

Rex the Rhino is planning his bus ride as we speak. Music buskers are tuning up for their performances during the evening rush hour on Main Street. Murphy’s Law on East Avenue is priming the kegs for our happy hour celebration (RSVP here external link). And our volunteers are wrapping up HUNDREDS of prizes to deliver to random transit riders.

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Rochester is getting on board ROC Transit Day

ROC Transit Day is coming. Lose your car keys on June 20, 2013.
A few short weeks ago I told you about ROC Transit Day 2013 external link. The idea is simple… pedestrians make for a vibrant city. The more people Rochester has walking the streets instead of driving, the stronger our community will be; and the stronger our local economy will be. ROC Transit Day is a holiday from our cars. It’s a day to celebrate local businesses. And it’s a day to cast a symbolic vote for a stronger transit system…

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ROC Transit Day: Lose your car keys on June 20

ROC Transit Day is coming. Lose your car keys on June 20, 2013.
A year and half ago I managed to convince RGRTA to try something new. I said, “let me give away free bus rides for one day.” I imagined most people would say “no thanks, the bus isn’t for me.” But I also knew my mom was right when she said, “try it, you might like it.” That year I think maybe 200 people participated and left their cars at home for the day.

What began as a fun little experiment, has turned into ROC Transit Day external link – a full blown Rochester holiday from our cars. This year ROC Transit Day will be on Thursday, June 20.

In this, its second year, the volunteers at Reconnect Rochester are giving away 1,000 special edition RTS fare cards – designed by yours truly. And we’re asking Rochester’s business community to get involved too…

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Transportation Choices and the Impact on Our Community

Posted by: Mike Governale

Mike Governale at TEDxRochester. Mike is a designer, blogger, and founder of a local public transit advocacy group, Reconnect Rochester. [PHOTO: Jeffrey Hamson]
Greetings. I’m Mike Governale, founder of Reconnect Rochester. I’m a graphic designer, originally from the NYC area and I now live in Rochester, NY. I have a deep fascination and love of cities – how they are formed over time and the way they continue to evolve.

Dense urban places have proven themselves, over tens of thousands of years, to be arguably the most sustainable form of human habitation. But over the past 70 years many cities—especially those in the U.S.—have lost this edge.

I write a blog, RochesterSubway.com external link, that explores Rochester, “America’s first boom-town,” and how it suburbanized itself to near extinction. The site looks at the amazing physical and social history of this place. And what it needs to do before it can become urban, sustainable, and relevant, once again.

Last November I gave a talk at TEDxRochester. The talk focuses on how our transportation choices impact land use, and ultimately the health and sustainability of our community. I think the presentation serves as a good introduction to who I am and why Reconnect Rochester is so important to me…

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Enjoy a Beverage with Reconnect Rochester

Come have a drink with the Reconnect Rochester volunteers and the Rochester Improvement Society at Abilene Bar & Lounge.
Reconnect Rochester will be hosting an informal happy hour event with the Rochester Improvement Society external link.

Come hang out with us on Wednesday, October 24th from 5:30 to 7:30 at Abilene Bar & Lounge external link (153 Liberty Pole Way external link). If you get there early enough, the first round will be on us!

Reconnect Rochester supports the expansion of transit services including pedestrian, bike, bus and rail facilities, into a truly multimodal transportation network. Our volunteers work hard to support Rochester’s existing public transit system, shape regional policies to enhance it, and reconnect our community in ways that improve personal mobility, urban vitality, environmental sustainability, and economic development.

If you’ve been following us over the past two years and like what we do, come out, meet us for a drink, and hear what we’ve been up to.

Please RSVP on Facebook external link

PS: After the happy hour, at 8pm Sammy Naquin and Big Easy Zydeco external link will be playing at Abeline ($8 cover). And how can anyone not like zydeco?

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Greentopia Time!

Posted by: Mike Governale
September is Greentopia time in Rochester. Reconnect Rochester will be there, September 15-16. Stop by our booth and say hello!Reconnect Rochester loves September. The weather is typically gorgeous making it the perfect alternative transportation time of year! And now, with Greentopia external link coming up (September 10-16) it’s feeling like holiday time for us.

Maybe you saw how we celebrated at Greentopia last year? How about a giant recyclable flying saucer external link? Heck yes. Now THAT’S a party.

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