ROC the Riverway

      19 RTR Weekend page header

This is the community’s chance to witness history in progress and learn how we continue to harness the natural beauty of the Genesee to build our community and grow our economy -- Mayor Lovely A. Warren

ROC the Riverway Weekend 2019

The longstanding series of events, formerly known as River Romance, is a celebration of Rochester’s history, centered along the Mighty Genesee. View the full schedule here.

The longstanding series of events, formerly known as River Romance, is a celebration of Rochester’s history, centered along the Mighty Genesee.

In addition to its normal slew of activities and events, this year’s ROC the Riverway weekend will feature two new events, a tour of Kodak Tower Commons on Friday and “ROC the Chalk,” a pop-up event on the Broad Street Bridge Saturday with food, buskers and a community chalk art installation. There will also be a pop-up skate park and demonstration.

Mayor Warren, Governor Cuomo Unveil Phase 1 Vision Plan of ROC the Riverway

Mayor Lovely A. Warren and Governor Andrew Cuomo joined members of the ROC the Riverway Advisory Board on Wednesday Aug. 1, 2018 to unveil the Phase 1 Vision Plan, which will serve as a blueprint for a $50 million State investment to launch the ROC the Riverway Program with 13 transformative projects along the Genesee River. 

Project Overview  

ROC the Riverway video

The ROC the Riverway Program will consolidate more than two dozen transformative projects  along the Genesee River under a single concept to achieve synergy and leverage the value of Rochester’s riverfront.

The prospective projects include the completion of the Genesee Riverway Trail through the Center City  and a redesign of Charles Carroll Plaza and Genesee Crossroads Park. The plan also envisions significant upgrades to major riverfront facilities, including the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial; the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center; and the Rundel Memorial Library building.

Revitalizing the Genesee River corridor will help fuel our local economy. RTR will serve as a major asset in attracting new jobs and solidifying our identity as a vibrant waterfront community. Cities around the world have discovered the tremendous power of great public spaces, bicycle/pedestrian-focused infrastructure, and water-oriented development in attracting employers and the next generation workforce.  

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Warren announced the launch of ROC the Riverway in February with an initial State investment of $50 million. The Program will be guided by a ROC the Riverway Advisory Board, which will be led by Chamber of Commerce President Robert Duffy and Monroe Community College President Anne Kress. 

Advisory Board Members

  • 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.

View the Roc the Riverway Proposal   

An image gallery of the all the full RTR conceptual document, with all the projects, can be viewed here>>  or by clicking on the image to the right.

The Executive Summary can be found here>>

Note: Conceptual images shown in the document are not final designs. They are intended to show the development potential along our waterfront – they will be critical in promoting this vision and securing funding. The details of each project will be further refined, each with their own public engagement process, as funding becomes available.

RTR Overview Map 

View the overview map with project legend below. Download a larger version of the overview map here>>

RTR Overview Map

RTR Primary Objectives   

  • Enhance the City’s potential for attracting State and private investment along the Genesee River;
  • Produce seamless multi-modal access along both sides of the river via the Genesee Riverway Trail and neighborhood connections to the trail;
  • Create dynamic public spaces, including a multi-use gathering space as the centerpiece of downtown;
  • Provide a massive boost to downtown’s ongoing resurgence;
  • Spur private development and job creation;
  • Repair and maintain critical infrastructure;
  • Remediate waterfront brownfield sites ;
  • Increase boating activity in the water south of Douglass-Anthony Bridge (I-490);
  • Establish a framework for active, sustained programming of public spaces and first floor uses.

 RTR Design Principles  

  • Focus on design that is oriented to pedestrians, bicyclists, boaters, and recreational enthusiasts;
  • Re-orient buildings to the water and adjacent public spaces;
  • Focus first on public spaces and facilities that serve citizens and visitors;
  • Improve connectivity to, from, along and across the river;
  • Create numerous opportunities for public art, historic interpretation, whimsical installations, and environmental stewardship – all united to create a sense of urban ‘play’ and celebration of the river.

 Relationship to other City plans 

 RTR projects  have been identified in numerous other plans and studies. RTR is a means to show how they can be stitched together to form a cohesive vision for a revitalized waterfront.   

 About the Renderings 

All renderings shown above and in the document are conceptual, not final designs. All private development and privately-run activities illustrated are shown to demonstrate context and the potential for leveraging funding. All renderings provided provided by Bergmann Associates except Charles Carroll Plaza rendering provided by  Olin/  T.Y. Lin.