Rochester is a unique city that requires a unique approach to travel demand management. Since the invention of the automobile, cities around the world have tried unsuccessfully to build their way out of traffic congestion by building more and wider roads. Rochester is taking a different approach. Based on best practices and lessons learned from other cities, Rochester is building a multi-modal transportation system that is integrated, coordinated, and sustainable for decades to come.
The DMC Development Plan introduced a transportation vision and 10 Transit Principles that will guide transportation planning. This plan is not, however, a blueprint for transit development. The purpose of the Integrated Transit Studies was to vet and update the concepts and assumptions made in the DMC Plan. Broad community perspective on transportation ideas and alternatives will be critical to achieving the modal shift from cars to transit, walking, and bicycling that is necessary to realize the DMC vision.
Where we are now:
Integrated Transit Study (ITS) consultant teams have been working since the fall of 2016 to refine the transportation vision of the DMC Development Plan from a high-level concept to a plan that identifies feasible options to serve the transit, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorist needs in the downtown area that are well suited to Rochester. The study teams synthesized the best features of the various scenarios into a recommended concept. In late-April or early-May, these studies will be presented to the public. In June, the Rochester City Council and DMCC Board will be asked for the acceptance of the recommendations. The Rochester City Council will also be asked for their support to incorporate key elements into the transportation section of the city’s Long Range Plan.
Key findings include:
- There is a need for an integrated transportation solution that combines infrastructure and policies, programs, and incentives.
- The transportation solution should accommodate all types of users and modes. The bike and pedestrian networks should be increased without reducing traffic lanes.
- The implementation of the transportation solution should be phased based upon measurable demands. The initial phasing and prioritization of projects will be determined in 2018.
- Diverse funding is required and now is the time to engage with potential funders/developers.
- Transit should be at-grade, rubber-tired, and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). BRT is reliable, comfortable, flexible and less capital intensive.
- A Transportation Management Association should be launched in Rochester in order to facilitate and encourage alternate modes of transportation.