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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?

8 Responses to Public Market’s Success Isolated

  1. Once again some do-gooder with no real world street knowledge of an area in the city has decided people living there need something. Just look at The Vineyard, the garden at Goodman/Webster and every vacant lot to see what can happen to gardens and green space when residents don’t care or hold each other accountable. Instead of green space how about just picking up the litter on a regular basis. Convicts can clean along Niagara St. just like they can along expressways, same with church groups and non-profits. Residents need to want this or it will just be more wasted money. It shouldn’t be left as a disaster zone until “Clean Sweep”. The Public Market has become a place for suburbanites to ‘feel good’ about and ‘support’ the city by going there for 2 hours a week and then bragging about it to anyone listening.

  2. I’d consider the lack of advancement of Marketview Heights to be a major tragedy of Rochester community development over the last decade, given the rise of the namesake Public Market within its midst to national prominence at the same time. Over about 4 yrs I was involved on and off with several initiatives that had great potential to advance the Heights, and saw them fall apart over poor leadership or ego squabbles, be co-opted, or (in one case) turn out to be fraudulent.

    And before that, going back a decade, the dashed hopes over the $1M Kellogg Foundation grant that fell apart (Kellogg ultimately pulling the plug half way through the funding) under the machinations of the truly-horrible-human-being consultant who refused to be interviewed last year by the D&C for their report on the downfall of The Vineyard.

    Anyone looking to do some investigative journalism on this sad history of failure is welcome to contact me by email through Rachel. I’ll share everything I know, provide other contacts, and I WILL name names.

  3. October 14, 2012 at 6:10 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    lots of good links today looks like the people of chicago caught on to the charter school hustle.

  4. The neighborhood definitely has potential. It’s within walking distance of the Neighborhood of the Arts, as well as the Hungerford Building (a must-see on First Fridays) and Rochester Greenovation. The latter two are both on East Main in the area under consideration. Marketview also has many wonderful old homes and commercial buildings.

    I spoke with a representative from TEDxRochester and he mentioned that there are currently several groups trying to get a pedestrian bridge built over East Main so people can safely cross from North Goodman to the Market. Right now, that road is a huge barrier between NOTA and Marketview Heights. It’s incredibly nerve-wracking to cross by foot or bike. I think it would really benefit Marketview to be more accessible and more closely connected to NOTA, given the enormous success of NOTA’s revitalization.

    • Do you have any information on the groupd trying to get a bridge built? i cross Goodman and Main on foot every day and it it is nerve wracking to say the least.

    • Thank you Diane. The low-income, minority cmmtunioies in Chicago have been ground zero for corporate reform since Paul Vallas was here 20 years ago. As you know, Vallas then went to Philly and later New Orleans. What’s happening in Philly is no coincidence and is a referendum on both mayoral control and the policymakers who destroyed the city’s public school system. Fortunately, a recent Chicago Tribune poll showed parents side with the Chicago Teacher’s Union by a ratio of 2:1 over the mayor regarding education policy, particularly among African-American and Latino respondents. You can only destabilize so many cmmtunioies and families before people start figuring out what is really going on. Until this becomes an election issue, our neighborhood schools will continue to be sabotaged in favor of research-refuted, community-rejected charter and turnaround schools.

  5. Suburbanites who drive to the Public Market are too afraid to stick around and spend time/money in the neighborhood. This is the case everywhere in the city. There’s really no way to fix it. If people don’t want to contribute to an area, they’re not going to do it. No matter how much parking, public transportation, green space, gentrification etc. is implemented, people are NOT going to stick around after they’re done shopping in the market. End of story.

  6. I don’t know where this green space idea came from but its idiotic. If they think alleys help criminals think of what an “urban forest” and these other large empty areas will do. Wide scale demolition and forced relocation of residents has never helped an area and won’t this time either. I agree connectivity to NOTA will help. We need to make the area attractive for people. If you connect the neighborhoods perhaps someone who can’t afford or find a place in NOTA will maybe consider the area. If the public market had some established 7 day a week businesses it could also help. It’ll take some people with vision to start, but if the momentuem builds others will follow.

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