Downtown Alley gets a Makeover

September 05, 2019 10:37 AM

(ABC 6 News) - A partnership between the Rochester Downtown Alliance and businesses is all about beauty.

“A lot of alleyways have kind of that preconceived notion that they’re going to be scary, they’re going ot be dimly lit, they’re going to be dirty,” said William Forsman, co-owner of Café Steam, one of the downtown businesses in on the project.

The alley behind South Broadway, between 3rd and 4th Streets is the exception.

“This is what we kind of refer to as the cove,” said Karli McElroy, Senior Director of Placemaking for the RDA.

Behind Café Steam and Canvas and Chardonnay is the beginning of what you might be seeing in the Med City more often.

“The inclusion of art, the inclusion of music, activities, programmed in partnership with the RDA to just kind of drive more people into the space and not using it necessarily the way an alleyway may be used,” Forsman said.

Making an alleyway pretty.

“That’s really just it. You want to make the alleyway prettier, you want to make it someplace that people want to walk through, use it as a corridor to be able to get to the places that they need to be,” Forsman said.

“It’s kind of kicked off this conversation of, you know, how are we looking at these alleys, if people are using them, how are we activating them,” McElroy said.

Back in the spring the RDA took on the project after hearing from businesses and residents.

“It doesn’t feel like a great space, it doesn’t feel like a safe space, a clean space, and so that’s the whole idea behind why we’re doing it,” she said.

Now a few months in, Forsman said he’s already seen a change.

“You see people using it more as a thoroughfare more often, and that’s part of you know keeping it clean, keeping it green, keeping it safe,” he said.

Showing how a little care can make a big difference. 


Alice Keefe

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