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Reconnect Rochester accepting submissions to redesign streets for safety

Max Schulte
The city of Rochester is one of several partners for Complete Streets Makeover Project.

According to a study by a national urban planning organization, Smart Growth America, pedestrian deaths have increased by 45% in the last decade. Reconnect Rochester and its partners are hoping to improve the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in Monroe County and are calling on the community to nominate intersections and trouble areas for the Complete Streets Makeover project.

Mary Staropoli, Director of Planning and Development for Reconnect Rochester, said on average about 8 people die in pedestrian and bicycle related crashes in Monroe County annually, and the Complete Streets Makeover is intended to combat the rising rate of accidents.

Staropoli said a public steering committee will select a winning intersection from the nominations submitted and will use specific criteria to determine the area with the greatest need for redesign.


 “We look at the crash safety data of that location and whether there have been incidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists,'' Staropoli said. “We look at the proximity to maybe playgrounds and schools. And we look at the potential for that street to be redesigned to be better and more welcoming and more comfortable.”

Neighborhood residents of the Complete Streets Makeover winning street will be able to work directly with partners Stantec and Community Design Rochester on the design of the street to make it safe and accessible to everyone.

Now in its third year, the project has been used to help residents gather data for safety improvements in their neighborhoods.

Staropoli said the new raised crosswalk installed at the intersection of Parsells Ave. and Greeley St was made possible based on data provided from the project’s first year.

“Sadly a young boy was killed on Parsells several years ago chasing a ball out into the street. Staropoli said. “So, It was really a perfect location for us trying to test out how we can slow that down. And our project ended up reducing speed by about 54%.”

Nominations can be submitted on Reconnect Rochester’s website until July 30th. Register here.

April Franklin is an occasional local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition.