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Ever drive along on Mt. Read Blvd. and wonder why it exists?

Mt. Read, at least in its current form, has always felt overbuilt and unnecessary. It’s also fairly unattractive. Interstate 390 was built after Mt. Read, which makes the road feel rather redundant.

“It’s more like an expressway. Does it need to be that?” said Eric Frisch, transportation specialist for the City of Rochester.

The city is now studying the future of Mt. Read. City Council will vote on an $85,000 contract with Bergmann to come up with a vision plan for a 4-mile stretch of the corridor, running from Stone Rd. to Buffalo Rd. The project is in partnership with the state, which owns the road.

About 18,000 cars use Mt. Read a day. The boulevard is not only showing its age, it’s got functional issues. There are a number of factories along the boulevard, including Eastman Business Park. Trucks use service roads along Mt. Read. There are issues with signals and safety and there’s congestion at Lyell Ave. It’s a brutal area for bicycles and pedestrians. There are also some brownfields, which the city has been cleaning up.

Let’s not forget Mt. Read cuts through residential neighborhoods, too. There are 15,000 people who live in streets off the road.

I’m eager to see the vision plan.

Mt. Read Blvd., sometimes between 1903-1936. Mother of Sorrows steeple in background.


Intersection of Mt. Read Blvd. and W. Ridge Road around 1950


Links of the Day:

– If you build more highways and keep adding lanes, you make more traffic. Louisville is struggling with what to do about its downtown expressways. Think about Rochester when you read this.

– Rochester used to have a Main Streetwith people.

– The gutting of Kodak continues with the announcement the company will stop making consumer ink jet printers.

– The Supreme Court may limit the use of race in college admissions.

– A scathing state report about the Aqueduct race track blames horse deaths on track officials.

14 Responses to Reimagining Mt. Read

  1. I grew up near the north end of Mt. Read. I delivered the Times-Union to 30 or so houses on Mt. Read. I agree that the area south of stone seems odd. It probably served it’s purpose, but it could be improved. I think where it is “at grade” past Ridgeway, the road could become more conventional (get rid of access roads).

  2. I would think the current format had more utility when the General Motors plant was in its prime. Perhaps it’s time for a change, but I think at the time that format was setup it made sense.

  3. Since it’s a divided Highway, make northbound and southbound traffic share one side of the median and make the other side a bike/pedestrian boulevard. PLANT SOME TREES.

  4. September 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm Scott Deane responds:

    With all the infrastructure improvements needed in this community, I’m befuddled as to why we’re even considering Mt. Read as priority? It’s a relic of our vast industrial past, work to improve our neighborhoods and shopping areas first.

  5. I remember it as shown on in the 50’s photo

  6. I DESPISE Mt. Read. It is by FAR my least favorite road in the entire Rochester Metropolitan Area. Just seeing the words makes me want to puke. Hopefully this new vision plan will help to combat my negative feelings towards it.

  7. the city better remember wide bike lanes. this is a perfect opportunity to install them!

  8. I often use Mt. Read as an alternative to the expressways when they are sooooo incredibly backed up for no visible reason. I hope whatever “improvements” they make keeps the traffic moving smoothly.

  9. September 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm Joe Mineo responds:

    I recently started working in a building on Mt read and W. Ridge and one of the worst things is Mt. Read itself. The weird access roads on either side are dangerous. People come flying off Mt. Read onto the access roads at full speed. Then there’s the cross over bridges. Lovely. It’s so industrial and ugly I’m not sure anything can be done to improve it short of plowing it over and starting again.

  10. I like mt. Read blvd especially when the expressway is backed up It’s great also to not have to go down dewey ave to get to charlotte. You can bypass all the cats and people on the streets.

  11. September 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm Eduardo Ricardo responds:

    Anytime you are in the City and can avoid the City, Mt. Read is a great option. Anyone who ties its ugliness and to Kodak is stating the times we live.


  12. September 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    think about this, the pic of mt. reed and w. ridge rd see how empty the corner was, because there was a lot less people. now everyone says goverment is to big but think about our population has doubled since 1950. goverment would naturaly get bigger as the population increased.

  13. I think that is a great idea Zack. I would also like them to consider turning some, or all, of that other half of the medium and the side roads into developable commercial or residential.

  14. I agree, that area could use a major overhaul that would inspire younger Rochester citizens to move and revitalize that area!

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