Economy Politics

PAETEC: Building a Tunnel to the ‘Burbs?

This was an old blog post, but I’d missed it. Rachel Barnhart ( @rachbarnhart ) flagged it this morning while discussing the Johnson presser about Midtown:

5 Things About Midtown Project You Didn’t Know – Rochester, News, Weather, Sports, and Events –

The thing that really grabs me is the first bullet: that part of the PAETEC deal is to construct a tunnel directly from the parking garage to the office building.

Wasn’t the major selling point of the project supposed to be revitalizing downtown? Everyone generally agrees that the tunnels that used to connect Midtown to its neighboring buildings were major setbacks for foot traffic on Main St., but at least they were above ground. This new tunnel system goes underground and right past all the businesses that might have sprung up in the wake of this new influx of money and opportunity. Its almost like you could work there every single day and never admit you worked downtown.

It raises the spectre of the siphoning of money out of Rochester that many residents complain of: relatively wealthy suburbanite people build businesses downtown and take their money right back to the ‘burbs. In this case, that spectre is rather a lot like a ghost, passing in and out of the city with barely a notice.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.