Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is Rochester Getting an Intermodal Transportation Center?

So last night City Council voted on Int. No. 382 (Authorizing an application and agreement for funding for the Rochester Intermodal Transportation Center).

Boy, was I surprised and excited to think they had woken up.   Finally they had figured out that a silly bus barn on Mortimer Street was NOT the answer to the problem.   Not only was I wrong, but I was even more upset to hear what was really taking place.

I want to take one step back and say that I agree we need a center for folks waiting for the bus.   If we are going to run a hub and spoke system, which I understand can also be debated, then we need a facility for folks to wait for transfers.   I do not agree that putting it in the middle of a street that City Council itself designated back in 2003 to be a retail and residential area is the right place.

So here I was, excited that City Council knew what they were doing, and decided to follow many cities, domestic and international, by locating all public transportation in a single center.   Train, Greyhound, taxis, and yes, the RTS buses.


I asked Council member Carolee Conklin after the meeting about this.   She explained that the train station is in need of being rebuilt.

So I asked the logical question, "Are we going to see the error of our ways and locate all public transportation within one center?"   She advised that this is not the case.

For the record, Conklin is the only person on City Council to vote against Mortimer Street.   She too has more than an ounce of logic.   I asked if there is a chance to redo all of this and do the logical thing.   It doesn’t look like this is going to be the case.

All I ask is this:   what is City Council doing?   Is it not able to look to the future?   Most members of City Council are younger and, I would think, are able to look down the road a bit.   Apparently not the case.   All on City Council are in the Democratic Party.   The party that calls itself "progressive."

Definition of "progressive:"

1. Moving forward; advancing.

2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.

3. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or method.
Does this latest poor choice look in any way progressive?

I hope that all Council members think long and hard about the choice they have to make.   They get one more bite at the apple, I believe, to be able to do some good for the City in connection with Mortimer Street and an intermodal hub.

May they choose wisely.


Anonymous said...

Maybe we could debate this another 10 or 20 years, to make sure we all have plenty to blog about? If anyone wants to know why downtown Rochester is dead, you need look no further than the now 12 year back and forth over the transit center. Liberals and other assorted elitists basically don't want it where they could see it. People who use the bus to go to their jobs want it within walking distance of their downtown jobs. These two positions are incompatible, yet the elitists of the Democratic Party don't care about the working poor, and the Republicans in the suburbs don't care about downtown. How many more decades will go by before the entire corner of Main & Clinton just collapses from neglect?

Man About Town said...

Quite late in getting to reading this post. Why did you get MORE upset when learning that the City is pursuing a new intermodal center that will combine Amtrak, Greyhound/Trailways, and certain RTS routes? The Downtown Transit Center is happening and the City is doing the next best thing by combining the other modes at a single modern facility that will be connected by foot, bike, and bus to the Transit Center. Would you prefer that Council had said no to a new bus/rail station? I just don't see the logic of your argument.