You may have noticed more roundabouts, curb bump outs, bike lanes and raised crosswalks around the city.
Rochester is trying to calm traffic along many streets. The efforts go way beyond speed bumps.
The streets of the future look like East Ave., St. Paul St. and Mt. Hope Ave. (near downtown). Dewey Ave. has now joined the club. The streets went from four lanes to two lanes. They now have features making it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians. They also have parking lanes in some places.
Drivers, of course, grit their teeth at some of these changes. I spent the morning on Dewey Ave. and heard mixed reviews. Everyone agrees the street is more attractive. But some drivers said at peak times, traffic is at a standstill. Other motorists were confused by the bike lanes.
The changes force us to think about streets differently. They’re not just a way for drivers to get from Point A to Point B in a hurry. They’re also where people live, work, shop, walk, bike and wait for the bus. The mayor explained the rationale this way in a story I did for 13WHAM:
“Dewey Avenue has always been and continues to be a commercial strip, so it provides opportunities for parking. It provides opportunities for people on bicycles. But it also slows down the traffic,” said Mayor Tom Richards. “We don’t want that to be a major thoroughfare. We don’t want expressway going through there.”
These new streets will take some adjustment. But we will have to get used to them. They’re coming to a neighborhood near you.
Links of the Day:
– Rep. Tom Reed backs away from pledge against raising taxes.
– Imagine if Mt. Hope Cemetery got battered by a hurricane. That’s what happened to a historic cemetery in Brooklyn.
– The company owned by the father of Medley Centre owner Scott Congel bought up houses near an Albany area mall and evicted the tenants. The remaining neighbors resent living next to empty houses and say their property values have taken a dive.
– Let’s face it. Mother-in-law jokes are sexist.
– Photo of the iceberg that sank the Titanic is for sale.