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Rendering of College Town

Rendering of College Town

 

University of Rochester undergrads think College Town is too far. The Campus Times reports:

Although students have voiced concerns about College Town’s distance from campus and the possibility of construction delays, developers are confident in the project’s success.

(snip)

The bookstore’s distance from campus is also concerning for students.

“I’m not looking forward to the fact that it’s 15 minutes away, and it’s going to be freezing outside,” Stolove said. “So the only way is going to be to use the bus schedule.”

(snip)

…there will be changes to the transportation system: a new bike trail and shuttles to and from College Town to lessen any inconvenience the distance from the bookstore may cause students.

(City of Rochester Economic Development Specialist) McCarthy also noted that students aren’t visiting the bookstore on a daily basis.

“The bookstore typically has cyclical heavy use at the beginning and ends of semesters, rather than providing a day-to-day service,” he said. “Also, walking is good for us.”

Cry me a river.

College Town is one mile from the heart of campus. At Cornell, my dorm was 1.5 miles from Ithaca’s College Town. It was a walk over steep hills. U of R students have it pretty easy. There are still dining halls, food stands and convenience stores right on campus for students.

But College Town isn’t just for U of R undergrads. It’s also for the 12,000 people who work at the medical center, which is much closer. And, it’s for the larger Rochester community, whose taxpayers are giving and loaning this project millions of dollars.

A little walk – along flat terrain – won’t hurt the undergrads. They won’t remember what it was like before they had more amenities. They won’t want to.

 

Links of the Day:

 

– What really happened with Wegmans and the Teamsters? The workers lost their guaranteed pensions under the threat of losing their jobs. 

– Senator Michael Nozzolio and his law firm, Harris Beach, are again under scrutiny, thanks to the Moreland Commission. Harris Beach is fighting the commission’s request to get more information about clients that do business with government. Check out this 2004 story about Nozzolio, the firm and pay-to-play questions.

– Have you ever heard of the “Regents Research Fund?” This group of privately-employed and funded people advises the State Education Department. Yes, they have the “reform” agenda.

– New York’s move to computerized testing could exacerbate the gulf between haves and have-nots.

– Common Core really is a curriculum – and New York tax dollars could be supplying the nation with material.

– Fewer flights, higher airfares out of Rochester and airports across the country.

Rochester’s food trucks are in limbo.

– Former Rochester news anchor Kyle Clark, now in Denver, goes off on viewers who send in pictures of snow-covered patio furniture.

10 Responses to College Town, Too Far?

  1. Rachel,
    There was a big to do about the “distance” for students to travel to the new MCC on State Street. The distance from the current downtown location to the new downtown location is 0.86 miles.
    I would assume that you would tell any concerned about that move to “cry me a river” as well. 🙂

    • November 25, 2013 at 11:22 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      Different issue regarding distance. The issue with MCC at Kodak is that it is cut off from the rest of downtown and will not spur development. It is a big box surrounded by parking lots, rather than an urban environment.

  2. The “too far” complaint is likely related to walkability (aesthetics, safety, activity) rather than mere distance to collegetown. This boulevard section of Elmwood Avenue has sidewalks, but these aren’t enough to entice most people to walk.

    On a walk to Collegetown, a student encounters many turning, speeding, and ignorant vehicles. It appears that too many drivers ignore the few crosswalks and while the Cemetary is attractive, the hospital side is fairly lame.

    That being said, I don’t believe most students are unwilling to walk to Collegetown.

    • There is a sidewalk and you only have to cross one street, which has a cross walk. You are out of your mind if you think NY drivers are horrible is the reason why. UofR students are just lazy.

  3. I went to UR and worked at Monroe Community Hospital. I walked there and back from the River Campus multiple times a week. You’re right: it is not far at all. The walk is maybe 10-20 minutes, depending on where you are. By bicycle, it’s less than five.

    The Campus Times article also notes that most students visit the campus bookstore primarily to buy/return their textbooks and don’t return much afterwards. The biggest users of the B&N will likely be the Rochester community.

  4. November 25, 2013 at 11:07 am Lee Drake responds:

    Your title on the article regarding losing their guaranteed pension fund is misleading. There is no “guarantee” of a pension paying out if it is underfunded, as this one was – by a huge factor. Thus the tradeoff was not a guarantee vs a bet but rather a compromise. One that reduced the risk of getting nothing from the pension fund which was being mismanaged by the union while still offering employees an alternative for saving money for retirement. The pension fund supposedly invests the money similarly to a 401k strategy, the difference being that we’re going with the union’s bet on which stocks might succeed, vs letting each employee pick their own risk portfolio. If the unions had been able to prove to their membership that they were managing the pension fund properly this might not have been an issue – but they obviously could not.

  5. There was a stabbing within the last month of a student on my hope avenue. What parent wants to finish the tuition payment after burying their son or daughter? I can understand that the non contiguous plan for college town is inconvenient. What’s more important is protection of the students.

  6. Far or not far walks for UR students had nothing to do with the location of College town. The UR could care less.

    College town is about business land developmental for the revenue and profit benefit of a college. This is land given to the UR by the city, that is now property tax free even though its value will more than double in the next few years.

    This land is far more lucrative and will provide the UR, and their out of State developer, with higher rental revenues than any other “close to campus” land the UR owns. The location on Mount Hope NOW ties in nicely with the new Costco development as well. Long walk or not.

    Plain and simple this is a supposedly non profit College, using free land given to them by the taxpayers, to develop a “mall area” where the school can enjoy property tax free retail rental revenue. And their selected out of state developer also enjoys the benefits of no property taxes as well.

    REPs are bad and constantly blamed for their big business ties and Corp welfare, But when DEMS give Educational “welfare” to Multi Billion dollar “non profit” Universities, that’s not a problem.

  7. Cry me a river? How about the Rochesterian doing a little original researching and reporting rather than copying a student-written article in the UR newspaper, The Campus Times. Besides, other than this article, I have not seen or heard one student complain or say anything negatively about the College Town project. Most students I have heard look forward to seeing the thing finished. Everyone seems to agree that it is assumed there will be shuttles that go there. Students already walk to that area all the time to frequent CVS, Chipotle, and Bunga Burger Bar. The Blue Line already goes to Goler House which will be at the back of College Town. Most likely, the person who wrote this at The Campus Times, only sampled a “few” students that they personally know. I haven’t seen or heard of a campus-wide poll asking our students about this issue. In fact, that Campus Times article is the only thing I have seen written about it on our campus. Why not come to campus and ask about 100 students how they feel about it, which is something the Campus Times did not do. I think for the most part, we are excited about it. ~Mirlin Moorefield, Class of 2014. But why focus on it when it is most likely only a hand full of students? It makes it look like the majority of students feel this way; like we’re all lazy, spoiled rich kids. The fact is, most students don’t mind walking anywhere. Just ask the REL 167W Speaking Stones students who walk all over the cemetery. Just ask any student who walks from campus to Southside Living Center or University Park, which is a comparable distance. It’s like you are turning your frustration from tax payer money to fund the project and aiming it at the students. Sentiments? The sentiment may exist that people who live in the 315 area codes are all rednecks, but that doesn’t make it so, right? Why speak of sentiments? Isn’t reporting supposed to be more factual and accurate?

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