How You Can Help Decide the Future of the Genesee River Downtown

18 Roc the River page header

Got ideas for the best ways to “Roc” the Genesee River?  The City of Rochester is seeking public input for ways to revitalize the Genesee riverway. Recently Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $50 million for the “ROC the Riverway” initiative, which includes repairs along the Genesee River and changes to parks and public spaces downtown.

The first public meeting was Thursday evening at MCC but residents are encouraged to give their two cents anytime through the city’s website.

“We have a conceptual plan but we’re asking the public to really hone in on different parts that they like about it,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “Do they want something different? Do they want something changed and what are their priorities?”

ROC_RIVERFRONT10-XLWarren said this is one part of “a larger puzzle” that includes waterfront redevelopment going all the way to Charlotte Beach. She said she’s grateful for the $50 million and hopes it’ll be a  catalyst to finish other projects surrounding the waterfront and become a magnet for other donors and investment.

The goal is to overall increase public access and reestablish the river as “the centerpiece of downtown Rochester.” It builds off the success seen in Buffalo. Pedestrians, bikers and other street-level foot traffic is given priority, according to renderings on the city’s website. Entertainment, access and overall beautification are the main aspects of the project. Rock climbing, kayaks and canoes are all on the table.

“The ROC the Riverway Program will bring an unprecedented level of targeted investment along the Genesee River and open our riverfront to new possibilities and opportunities for growth,” said Warren.

Other public meetings are scheduled for the near future but haven’t been announced yet. The board is expected to make recommendations to the state by May. ROC the Riverway’s advisory board includes:

  • Bob Duffy (Co-Chair), Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
  • Anne Kress (Co-Chair), Monroe Community College
  • Lisa Baron, Greentopia
  • Clement Chung, ROC City Coalition (Past President)
  • Veronica Dasher, Rochester Gas & Electric (AvanGrid/Iberdrola)
  • Shawn Dunwoody, DUNWOODĒ Visual Consulting
  • Jim Howe, The Nature Conservancy
  • Norman Jones, City of Rochester
  • Nichole Malec, Constellation Brands (Downtown resident)
  • Eugenio Marlin, Ibero-American Development Corp.
  • Mary Beth Popp, North American Breweries
  • Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, Rochester Downtown Development Corp.

“We want different people to be a part of this because  there might be something that I’m looking at that maybe our young progessionals or our millennials, it’s important to them but that I might not be able to see. Having that voice at the table is very important ot us. We want it to be inclusive.

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