Monroe Avenue Parking and Mobility Study

Project Background

Monroe AvenueMonroe Avenue, a mixed use corridor that originates on the edge of downtown and runs through the southeast quadrant of the City, has evolved into a significant destination-oriented retail, entertainment and employment corridor with eclectic shops, lively bars and nightlife, as well as a variety of cafe's and restaurants that draw customers from a broad area. The corridor also continues to have a significant community-serving function, providing goods and services, entertainment and places of worship for nearby residents. Approximately 10,000 people live within a ten minute walk of Monroe Avenue, giving it one of the higher population densities in the City. Since Monroe Avenue is adjacent to and integrated with several residential neighborhoods, residents enjoy the convenience of nearby services, shops and restaurants but must compete with customers and employees for the use of parking spaces on nearby residential side streets. On the other hand, customers and visitors to the area frequently find available parking to be limited, costly, or requiring walks that are perceived to be too lengthy.

The last complete parking analysis of Monroe Avenue, prior to this study, had been completed in 1993. Since that time, many parking lots have been redeveloped and replaced with buildings. Major streetscape improvements incorporated protected on-street parking spaces in certain locations, but did not create enough new spaces to replace those lost to development. Over the past 20 years, the number of sit down restaurants and other establishments has increased significantly, adding to the parking demand. Monroe Avenue continues to evolve in ways that are likely to put pressure on parking resources. The goal of this study was to develop a parking management plan for Monroe Avenue that identifies implementable recommendations to improve the function of existing parking facilities while examining ways to encourage the use of alternate forms of transportation to mitigate future parking demand in the area.

About the Project Study Area Boundary

The primary objective of this study was to identify and evaluate parking issues along the Monroe Avenue corridor. A series of recommendations were developed to improve the quality of parking facilities and resources for area residents, businesses, visitors and other vested stakeholders and identified how responsible transportation management practices can be used to provide parking alternatives through encouraging the use of transit and enhancing accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists. The City  hired the consulting firm Fisher Associates to conduct the Parking Study. The boundaries of the study area consisted of Monroe Avenue from the former Inner Loop to Culver Road and one block in on all residential side streets within that area.

Components of the study included an inventory of the following: 

  • Current parking supply (on-street and off street; both public and private)
  • Existing wayfinding signage (both vehicular and pedestrian)
  • Public Transit service frequency / amenities (route frequency, stop locations, benches/shelters, etc.)
  • Existing bicycle infrastructure (bike lanes, bike racks, etc.)
  • Pedestrian circulation patterns
  • Crosswalk signage, locations and conditions
  • Existing parking regulations and enforcement policies (both on-street and off-street)
  • Current zoning district designations, land use and development patterns
  • Existing parking requirements set forth in the City's Zoning Code
  • Parking occupancy counts / utilization rates at various times for all parking areas
  • Development potential of underutilized sites to create a "max build out" scenario and identify potential future impacts to parking

The information compiled during the inventory phase led to a "Needs and Opportunities Assessment" that evaluated the following:

  • Traffic circulation patterns and street geometry
  • Parking supply / deficit analysis (both current and future)
  • Parking enforcement policies and procedures
  • Physical infrastructure such as multi-modal amenities, roadway and sidewalk conditions, etc.
  • Adequecy of signage (regulatory and wayfinding)
  • Pedestrian network / connectivity
  • Bicycle network and amenities
  • Public Transit network

Upon completion of the Needs and Opportunities Assessment, a set of recommendations for implementable actions were identified and summarized in a "Preliminary Findings Report". Alternatives in that report included design, regulatory and programmatic strategies that address issues associated with parking and circulation along the corridor.

The strategies set forth were vetted with the public and other stakeholders before being compiled into the final parking management plan document which contains recommendations and implementation strategies, including identification of potential funding sources. Recommendations included ways to encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation as a strategy to help alleviate future parking demand.

This study went beyond the traditional parking study in that it examined how parking conditions interact with other forces such as land use, walkability, urban character and economic growth. The Final Report can be found here.

Project Funding / Support

The City of Rochester received a $50,000 federally funded grant from the Genesee Transportation Council as part of the United Planning Works Program (UPWP). The City of Rochester will contribute a $5,000 cash match as well as $5,000 of in-kind staff support to the project. The total cost of the study is $60,000. 

Project Advisory Committee

A Project Advisory Committee consisting of City Staff, representatives from Monroe County and New York State Department of Transportation, Monroe Avenue Business Association, and area Neighborhood Associations was formed to identify and discuss neighborhood concerns relating to parking and circulation issues, review consultant work products and provide valuable feedback throughout the course of the study.

Public Participation

Public feedback on issues, concerns and ideas related to parking in the Monroe Avenue area was strongly encouraged. Stakeholder interviews were conducted with various business and property owners in the area. A web-based survey was developed and active from February 25th, 2016 through May 1st, 2016 to capture input from the general public. The first of two public meetings was held on April 14, 2016 to present initial inventory work and provide an opportunity for public comment and feedback. A second  public input opportunity took place on Saturday August 6, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Park Ave. Summer Arts Festival to allow for the public to weigh in on the preliminary recommendations for improvement to parking and circulation in the area.

Project Documents / Information 

Monroe Avenue Parking Study Request for Proposals (RFP) 
Study Area Map 
Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting #1 Agenda - 2/9/16 
Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting #1 Powerpoint Presentation  
Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting #1 Minutes 
Public Participation Plan 
Public Information Meeting #1 Flyer 
Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting #2 Agenda - 4/5/16 
Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting #2 Minutes  
Public Meeting #1 Powerpoint Presentation 
Public Meeting #1 Presentation Boards 
Public Meeting #1 Minutes 
Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting #3 Agenda - 6/14/16 
Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting #3 Powerpoint Presentation 
Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting #3 Minutes  
Public Information Opportunity #2 Flyer  
Public Information Opportunity #2 Display Boards 
Public Information Opportunity #2 Minutes  
*FINAL REPORT* - 1/30/17 

Tentative Project Schedule 

Project Initiation December 2015
Fieldwork / Data Collection Winter 2016
Public Meeting #1     April 14, 2016
Public Meeting #2 August 6, 2016
Draft Final Report November 2016
Final Plan / Project Completion January 2017

Questions / Information / Comments

For more information about this project, contact Josh Artuso, Senior GIS Analyst / City Planner at (585) 428-7707 or josh.artuso@cityofrochester.gov.