East Avenue, 1917.
Something wonderful will happen here in July. In fact something so surprising and unprecedented that we can only wonder what other fabulous and sane undertakings might emerge here.
East Avenue is an important thoroughfare in Rochester, and has been since the beginnings of the city. Tree-lined and beautiful, East Avenue is Route 96, and carries a lot of traffic into and out of the city every day. In July, a long segment of the Avenue, from Alexander Street in the west to Culver Road in the east, will go from four lanes to two lanes. Amazing!
This segment of the street is home to Eastman House, the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and some of the great homes – mansions really, and now mostly non-profits, clubs and condos – from the golden age of the city. It is a great street to stroll, and but for the traffic and the narrowness of the existing four lanes, a great street to bike. At last East Avenue will become a complete street – good for peds, bikes, cars, and perhaps one day again, trolleys.
The city is using federal money to repair and restripe the Avenue, and because it’s only a fixer-upper, City Engineer Jim McIntosh didn’t have to go to the City Council, or the public. He rightly observes that the Avenue will be much safer when rearranged – it’s a doozy now, because of the narrow lanes and potholes and drains at curbside.
Thanks, Jim!! Keep it up.
Oh, and while you’re out there this summer, stripe a bike lane in each direction and we really will have a complete street.
The most fun of all as this unfolds is to listen to the whining and griping and moaning of suburbanites and car commuters. Car folks are decrying this change in huffy language that is really quite hysterical.
It’s a tiny, tiny victory for sane urbanism, but we’ll take it.