In Rochester, we often see the conflict between the dreamers and the realists.
We rarely see the dreamers win out. The fast ferry was their biggest triumph and we know how that turned out. Now we have a practical mayor who doesn’t seem too fond of the Big Idea.
But there are some Big Ideas out there. The concepts are either wacky or brilliant, depending on your vision for Rochester.
Here are the top 5 Big (Crazy?) Ideas:
1. Rewatering the Canal – Erie Canal restoration advocates want to rewater the old aqueduct downtown, essentially flooding Broad St. They envision recreational boats in summer and ice skating in winter, as well as real estate development along the new waterfront.
2. Doing Something with the Subway – This idea is in conflict with rewatering the canal, as it would use the same infrastructure. The subway was built in the old canal bed, so one could argue the canal was there first! Ideas for the subway tunnel, some of which has been filled in, include parking and bringing back light rail.
3. Garden Aerial – This would transform the Pont de Rennes Bridge at High Falls into a “floating garden.” There would be an additional pedestrian bridge built close to the falls and a winter garden on the side of the brewery.
4. Performing Arts Center – The Rochester Broadway Theatre League has long wanted new digs, saying the Auditorium isn’t adequate. The group hasn’t raised funds, however, and has no politician advocating for grants. RBTL chose Midtown Plaza for a theater site, but City Hall is lukewarm, at best, to the idea.
5. Filling in the Inner Loop – This one has the most support from City Hall to actually get done. But there’s still a funding gap. The sunken expressway is underused and a barrier to development. Filling it in would create usable land and fill in gaps between downtown neighborhoods.
What’s your Big Idea?
Links of the Day:
– Buffalo is seeing a lot of conflict between cyclists and drivers who have to share the road.
– A mom is arrested for allowing kids, ages 7 and 11, walk alone to get pizza a half mile away.