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These are boom times for the Rochester Public Market, popular as ever and on the verge of a huge makeover.

But the neighborhood surrounding the market has seen better days. Marketview Heights has some major problems. In a Request for Proposals seeking a consultant to come up with a vision plan for the Urban Renewal District, the city wrote about the challenges:

…including population decline, high poverty rates, low graduation rates, poor property maintenance, and crime related to drug and gang activity, Somewhat unique to Marketview Heights’ land use pattern is the system of alleys that once served an important role for the homes central to the URD (Urban Renewal District). These alleys now serve as ‘getaway’ routes for criminals, and hinder law enforcement efforts combating drug activity. The inner loop and railroad tracks have also been identified as physical barriers to connectivity between the neighborhood and the nearby downtown.

Marketview Heights has 2,893 mostly residential land parcels. It’s bordered by the Inner Loop, East Main St., North Goodman St. and Clifford Ave.

Any plan to revitalize the area could include the strategic demolition and greening of entire blocks. The city highlighted Marketview Heights in its Project Green report and has discussed leveling houses along East Main Street. This is controversial, as there are residents who would likely have to be relocated. Inclusion of residents in planning is key.

Check out the Project Green suggestion. The map on the left shows current buildings. The map on the right shows planned demolition.








Greening the neighborhood may or may not be the answer. But it certainly would be wonderful if the success of the Public Market can finally spill over into the rest of the neighborhood.

The consultant’s report is due a year from now.

Links of the Day:

- This is a great example of why toughening laws against drunk drivers may be futile. Convicted drivers get behind the wheel anyway.

- Budget cuts means more kids are walking to school in Erie County. Guess what? People are discovering (gasp!) it’s safe.

- More parents in New York are boycotting field tests. Some don’t want their kids to feel responsible if their teachers get fired.

- What if affirmative action was based on income, family structure and neighborhood and not on race.

- Modern American resembles 14th century Veniceand not in a good way.

- The western world is limiting free speech in the name of everyone getting along. This is bad.

Brizard stuff:

- Chicago’s mayor lied about Brizard’s departure right up until the end.

- Brizard’s support for charter schools helped lead to his downfall.

What’s next for Brizard?