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Rochester NY Spotlight


The Middle Class Spends More on Gas, Maintenance & Insurance for Cars
walkability

The Middle Class Spends More on Gas, Maintenance & Insurance for Cars

Posted April 17, 2015 by Renee

Cars are the second highest expense for households in the US. CityLab dove into the recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that breaks down how Americans spend their money looking at various income brackets. And it noted that “something screwy is going on with transportation.” Middle-class Americans in particular spend a higher percentage of their total household expenditures on transportation. And it’s not because they are spending it on bus or subway fare. They spend more on gas, maintenance, insurance and other car related expenditures. [...]

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Walkability Needs to Be Part of NY's Strategy to Combat Obesity
new york obesity

Walkability Needs to Be Part of NY's Strategy to Combat Obesity

Posted April 08, 2015 by Renee

We learned this week that almost 60% of New Yorkers are overweight or obese. According to the NY Health Department, 1 in 4 people in our state are obese (24% in Monroe County). 36% in the state are overweight. And New York ranks second in the nation for medical costs that are related to that obesity. That adds up to billions of dollars. [...]

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Why Trees Matter on Our Streets
rochester walkability

Why Trees Matter on Our Streets

Posted March 27, 2015 by Renee

There are a lot of things we can do to make our streets more enjoyable for all people (regardless of the mode of transportation they are using). And my favorites are the ideas that don't cost much money, but leave an impact. When Victor Dover was in Rochester as part of the Community Design Center's Reshaping Rochester series, he was interviewed on WXXI. At the end of the interview, he said the two biggest things cities and towns can do that will have an immediate impact on the quality of life for residents don't cost much: Plant trees and create bike lanes. [...]

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Cars versus Pedestrians on Mt. Hope Avenue
rochester pedestrian safety

Cars versus Pedestrians on Mt. Hope Avenue

Posted March 13, 2015 by Renee

Drivers rule the neighborhood along Mt. Hope Avenue north of College Town and residents who live near there are fed up with the unsafe conditions caused by chronic speeding. They sent a petition to the city to address the dangerous and hostile conditions for cyclist and pedestrians on the stretch of Mt. Hope north of the intersection with Elwood Ave (map at left). [...]

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Should Rochester Property Owners Be Ticketed for Not Clearing Sidewalks?
sidewalk plowing rochester

Should Rochester Property Owners Be Ticketed for Not Clearing Sidewalks?

Posted March 06, 2015 by Renee

I wrote about the city guidelines for sidewalk clearing back in January before these huge winter storms hit us. The city provides sidewalk plowing as a "supplemental service to help property owners clear their sidewalks during a substantial winter storm." That word "supplemental" is key here. The city deploys those plows only if there has been 4" of accumulation at a time (not when there is 2" from one storm and 2" a few days later). [...]

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Has This Winter Changed How You Plan to Get to Work?

Has This Winter Changed How You Plan to Get to Work?

I wrote about being a pedestrian in winter around here the end of January and included a picture of my walk to work. It was a crumbly icy mess back then, but the big snow storms hadn't even hit us yet. A month later, with countless ridiculous snow storms and record cold temperatures, the sidewalks are even worse.
by Renee
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Building a New Plaza in Brighton for People, Not Just Cars

Building a New Plaza in Brighton for People, Not Just Cars

There is a new shopping center planned for Brighton. A Whole Foods will reportedly be anchoring the new Palazzo Plaza Lifestyle Center, which will be located on Monroe Ave near 490 where Clover Lanes currently is. I was excited when I first saw the news about this, because I assumed it was a chance for Brighton to take an opportunity to make that Monroe corridor more accessible to pedestrians, transit riders and cyclists. It would be a chance to lead by a new example of building things for people, instead of cars. Right now, that corridor is completely terrible for anyone not in a car.
by Renee
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How Monroe County Gets to Work

How Monroe County Gets to Work

It will probably come as no surprise that almost everyone in Monroe County drives to work. But it surprised me that more people don't car pool. 82% of people drive to work alone. Only 8% car pool. 3% take public transit and 3% walk to work. The same amount of people take transit in Monroe county as walk, which makes me wonder if . 1% bike (yes, even in winter).
by Renee
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Pedestrian in No-Plow Winter Rochester

Pedestrian in No-Plow Winter Rochester

I've said it before, but being a pedestrian in Rochester in winter is not for the faint of heart. We live in one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Rochester. And this is a picture of the walk to work this morning. There is a bus stop less than 50 yards ahead at the intersection of Culver and East. The walk actually improved a bit with the freshly fallen snow, because it had been an icy tundra from the combo of snow, sun, freezing temps and little care given to clearing. And this was just a regular few inches kind of snow Rochester is used to; no panic-at-the-disco unexpected blizzard.
by Renee
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Finally! Grocery Delivery in Rochester!

Finally! Grocery Delivery in Rochester!

One of the things we missed when we moved here from DC was a grocery delivery service. I've told you before that I strongly dislike grocery shopping (or any shopping really). And it was especially difficult when our kids were super little. It was a Herculean effort to get babies/toddlers TO the grocery store and THROUGH an entire grocery list before someone melted down (me included). Let alone finding time do food shopping while working, raising kids and remembering to shower and feed the dog.
by Renee
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Trading the Inner Loop for the Hyperloop in Rochester

Trading the Inner Loop for the Hyperloop in Rochester

Most everyone who knows me is aware of my mild obsession with Elon Musk's hyperloop (or as my friends call it now, after hearing one too many informational benders -- my "super tube"). It's a super high-speed mass transportation idea most compare to those tube systems you use in old school bank drive-thru windows. It would allow riders (who sit in pods) to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under 30 minutes. And the trip would feel much like being in an airplane.
by Renee
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Factors of Walkability

Factors of Walkability

Sustainable Cities shared a walkability post from photographer Christopher Berggren, that outlined the top 10 factors of walkability. Berggren runs a site called Planning Photography that provides photographic evidence (and the research notes) of the economic and social benefits of bike infrastructure and walkability. (The photos, by the way, will inspire you to bike and walk and fight for the access to do so.) His post caught my eye because it featured one of my favorite walkable, bike-friendly cities -- Copenhagen.
by Renee
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Rochester Third in Nation for Volunteerism

Rochester Third in Nation for Volunteerism

A new study on rates of volunteerism confirms what I see going on around this city every day: people are giving their time to their communities! The Corporation for National and Community Service ranked Rochester NY third in the country for volunteerism. The organization's 2014 Volunteering and Civic Life in America report looks at volunteering and civic activity in all 50 states and the 51 largest metropolitan areas.
by Renee
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President of Reconnect Rochester Nominated for Strasenburgh Activism Award

President of Reconnect Rochester Nominated for Strasenburgh Activism Award

The Rochester Community Design Center hosted the fourth annual Reshaping Rochester Awards luncheon this week. I joined a table full of other Reconnect Rochester Board members to support Mike Governale, who is most known for his site Rochester Subway, an online resource and forum dedicated to celebrating the history of Rochester and creating better connections between the various neighborhoods and communities in around the city.
by Renee
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