Politics Rochester Technology

Environmental impact of filling the Inner Loop: real or overblown?

I can think of lots of reasons to fill the Inner Loop, as the City of Rochester is planning to do between Broadway and Charlotte streets. Not the least of which is: its a big pain that provides nothing to the city. Or that its dangerous – the city cites 87 accidents in a three year period. I’m all in favour of acing the thing.

But the city’s proposal and talking points include a curious claim: that filling the Inner Loop would be good for the environment. I’m all for improving the environment, but what exactly are the benefits?

Reading over the proposal, the city claims that, because residents would not have to drive on or around the Inner Loop to get to other parts of the city, the SYCHRO traffic simulator estimates a drop in fuel consumption of about 0.3%. How much is that? Well….. its about 6 gallons of gas. Not for your car. Total. For the year.

Hardly worth getting too excited about, is it?

Let’s not let that be the reason to lose interest in what is easily the most practical and worth-while project in recent Rochester history. But it would be helpful if the city would not make such disappointing claims.


Dead Deer on the Inner Loop

It goes without saying that there is a remarkable lack of deer in downtown Rochester. I haven’t heard any complaints yet, and lying on the shoulder of the Inner Loop under the bridge before the St. Paul exit, westbound, is one good reason why. In fact, it’s been sitting there for two days.

What the hell is with the deer, this season? I’ve seen more dead deer on the side of the roadways this spring than I can ever remember in the past; in one day, my wife spotted six, to her enduring chagrin. On another evening, our plans to visit a little Italian restaurant in Webster were rudely countermanded by the mortal coil of a deceased ruminant((that means deer)) directly out front of the bistro.

Or perhaps the problem is that road maintenance has been getting lax.  After all, the deer I saw today crossed the Stygian by way of Inner Loop at least two days ago.  Worse than that, there was actually one of those H.E.L.P. trucks parked exactly opposite Bambi Be No More yesterday and today, the remains remain.  And judging from other expired animals I’ve seen elsewhere, that is hardly an isolated incident.

What is going on?