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Rochester's Broad Street

Posted by on February 17, 2010

The plans to rip up Broad Street and reconstruct the original Canal Aqueduct over the river are progressing.  I’ve mentioned the plans before and I’ve always thought it was kind of a neat idea but never thought it would get anywhere.  Now that it seems to be getting some traction it deserves more thought.

I for one think it’s completely ridiculous, and the City has more important things to do with its money.

The following is a letter I sent to:

  • Louise Slaughter
  • (The closest I could find to Mayor Bob Duffy)

Regardless of how you stand on the issue, I suggest you do the same.

Broad St Closure – A Concerned Citizen

The closing of the broad street bridge this week has me frustrated.  It’s something I cross on the bus at least once a day and has increased my bus commute time by about 5-10 minutes in each direction. In the morning due to the detour, and in the afternoon due to the additional build up of traffic on Exchange st.  Even in the past two days, the inconvenience this has created has been significant.  This has also been during a week of school closures and lighter than usual traffic.  I’m concerned how the effects would be during events at the Convention Center and War Memorial.

Why is the bridge closed anyway? Are we really going to tear out the bridge and flood the original aqueduct to create a POND over the RIVER?  Or are we just going to blow millions of dollars planning it and studying the effects of possibly doing it and then do nothing?

Rochester citizens have watched many other big projects fail and cost them millions of dollars with no gain.  Sure we got a new port building from the Fast Ferry debacle, but now it sits mostly unused and unoccupied.  One of the few ideas (The Casino) which stood to bring in direct revenue for the city was even voted down.  Now we plan on sinking millions into a plan to create another Manhatten square Park or another Genesee Crossroads with a manmade water feature in the middle instead of a river.

Rochester has proven time and time again that it can’t deliver on ideas like this.  Therefor we need to spend the money on things like better public transportation systems, Better education, maintaining (or improving) the parks we do have.

We don’t need another money pit, we need something with some real return on investment.

Stop wasting our money and end the study of the Broad St bridge closure early.

A Concerned Citizen,
Randy Aldrich

7 Responses to Rochester's Broad Street

  1. Greg Bender

    I'm skeptical… The riverwalk area behind stock exchange was probably really nice back in the day too… Now it's abandoned, full of garbage, and most of the concrete slabs move when you step on them. Same thing will happen with this.

  2. Jeremy Brown

    Rochester Traffic isn't really that bad, compared to any other city this size, so I don't think that's much of an argument. I am not so sure about the public funds, but something needs to be done to bring people downtown. I think affordable housing would be a big start.

  3. Randy Aldrich

    I think the big problem is the businesses and people just won't materialize. Putting a park over the river is a nice feature but it won't bring the people. Therefor it won't bring the businesses and it won't bring the money. It'll end up being another park we don't have the money to maintain.Jeremy, you're right, Rochester traffic isn't as bad as other cities but that's primarily an effect of reduced downtown population (working and residential). If our goal is to get more people downtown it seems silly to create a traffic situation before we even get more people.Nothing has even been mentioned of the traffic problems when an event is taking place ON main st blocking ALL traffic.

  4. Eric Rinella

    ive heard they want to remove the inner loop as well…is this the same thing?

  5. Randy Aldrich

    No that's a different issue. Not sure if there's any traction there or not, but I've heard the same thing.

  6. Dean Rzonca

    The plan the city presents actually look really nice, but I doubt that they'll ever get the money together to do the whole thing correctly, and even if they do I'm not sure if the businesses or pedestrian traffic will materialize. Personally, I'd rather see the money go toward some type of rail transit.

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