About the Symposium

Active Transportation The purpose of the Greater Rochester Active Transportation Symposium is to discuss the impact of Active Transportation (biking, walking and mass transit) on the Genesee Valley Region community in terms of health, safety, economic stability, infrastructure spending, social equity and the built environment. Tools for creating a community friendly to bicycles, pedestrians and those with disabilities will be shared. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of policy issues, planning considerations, and funds available to further these efforts.

Download the Brochure.

Registration is $45 and includes continental breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Go to grats.eventbrite.com to register

Scholarships are available – contact Rochelle Bell at 753-2034 or rbell@monroecounty.gov


7:00 – 8:00 Pre-Conference Walk and Bike Ride
8:00 – 8:30 Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 9:30 Opening Plenary: Erik Frisch, Rich Perrin and Andy Clarke, President, League of American Bicyclists
9:30 – 9:45 Break
9:45 – 10:45

Session A1

Walking and Wheeling to a Healthier Community

Session B1

Policy Perspectives

Session C1

Infrastructure and Facilities

Session D1

School and Community: Bringing them Closer

10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 Hon. David Cieslewicz, Mayor, Madison, Wisconsin
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch and Activities
1:30 – 2:45

Session A2

Economic Benefits - the Happy Surprise

Session B2

Creating a Supportive Built Environment

Session C2

Inclusive Design

Session D2

Campus Community Connections

2:45 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:00

Session A3

The Mother of Invention - Not Everyone Owns a Car!

Session B3

Community Toolbox: Planning to Finance

Session C3

Safety & Security

Session D3

Incentivizing Active Transportation

4:00 – 5:00

Session A4

Education, Outreach, Advocacy

Session B4

Bike Week Rides

Session C4

What Should Our Community’s Active Transportation Plan Look Like?

Session D4

Review Town Board Presentation

Getting to the Venue

Method 1: Walk from FREE Parking

Eastman Kodak Company has generously donated parking spaces in their ‘C Lot’ (Morrie Silver Way between Plymouth Avenue and State Street) for symposium attendees on April 27. While walking, bicycling, or taking transit right to the symposium location is encouraged, this free parking is located within a pleasant half mile, 10-15 minute walk.

Anyone wishing to use this parking MUST reserve space prior to April 25 as symposium organizers need to provide a count to Kodak. Please email Jason Haremza at jason.haremza@cityofrochester.gov to reserve a space or for more information.

Method 2: Bicyle

The ride will depart from the Roundhouse Pavilion in Genesee Valley Park and will follow the Genesee Riverway Trail on the west side of the river north to Court Street. Turning left onto Court Street, then right onto Exchange Boulevard, then right onto Main Street, the ride will conclude at the Radisson Hotel where valet bicycle parking will be available.

The ride will take approximately 30 minutes as we will be traveling at a relaxed pace and will be stopping briefly at several points to collect riders coming from other points in the city.

Maps are available for rides from the Roundhouse Pavillion, Towners, or a map showing both routes.

Method 3: Bus

Click here for bus directions.

Enter your address on the linked page on the line marked A.

You are likely to get the Surgeon General’s recommended 30-minutes of physical activity just walking to and from the bus stop and each end of your journey. And it only costs $1 in each direction!

And don’t forget your iPod, mp3 player, book, magazine or newspaper to enjoy on your ride!

Method 4: On-Site Parking

There is a parking garage adjacent to the Radisson Hotel; enter off Main Street or Mortimer Street. The charge is $7 per car per entry.

Programs & Speakers

Registration & Continental Breakfast

Opening Plenary: Erik Frisch, Rich Perrin and Andy Clarke

Erik Frisch is the Tranpsortation Specialist at the City of Rochester. Richard Perrin is the Executive Director of the Genesee Transportation Council. Andy Clarke is the President of the League of American Bicyclists in Washington, D.C.

Walking and Wheeling to a Healthier Community

We will explore the many health dividends to increasing active transportation. Panelists will address the benefits to community health as a whole; to air quality; and to personal health.

Speakers: Dr. Byron Kennedy, Deputy Director, Monroe County Department of Public Health
David Q. Rich, ScD Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Policy Perspectives

Policies at all levels affect the transportation choices available to us including walking, bicycling, and using public transportation as well as driving automobiles. Speakers will discuss policy initiatives and how existing policies affect planning efforts and the built environment.

Speakers: Kartik Sribarra, Manager, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Eric Ophardt, NYS Dept. of Transportation Bike-Ped Coordinator
Andrew Raus, Principal Planner, Bergmann Associates

Infrastructure and Facilities

There are many treatments to providing pedestrian and bicycle accommodations in our communities ranging from on-street to off-street options. Speakers will describe what is taking place locally in the Greater Rochester area as well as the varying types of facilities that are available nationwide and possibly worldwide including examples of communities that have more advanced commitments to integrating and coordinating such facilities into their infrastructure.

Speakers: Jeff Olson, Architect and Planner; Alta Planning + Design, Saratoga Springs, NY
Stephen R. Ferranti, P.E., PTOE, Principal Transportation Engineer/Planner SRF & Associates.

School and Community: Bringing them Closer

Topic:Communities across the country want to make walking and bicycling safe and appealing for children. Speakers will offer best practices, curriculum, and local programs that promote safe, easy, and fun ways for kids to be physically active in their neighborhoods and to and from school.

Speakers: TBD

Hon. David Cieslewicz, Mayor, Madison, Wisconsin

David Cieslewicz is the Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, a wintry city known to excel in Active Transportation.

Lunch and Activities

Lunch provided on premises. There will be exhibits to view, and people leading a downtown walk and a bicycle ride along the Genesee River. The walks and rides will start at 12:30 and take place rain or shine.

Economic Benefits - the Happy Surprise

Topic: Data-driven evidence is in: Active Transportation is good for individual and family finances; keeps dollars in the local economy instead of the oil producing, refining and distributing economy; attracts tourists; and attracts and retains businesses and young people.

Speakers: Jackie Marchand, President, WomanTours
Kartik Sribarra, Manager of Policy Outreach, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Dr. Scott MacRae, University of Rochester

Creating a Supportive Built Environment

Topic: Good design of the built environment, our streets, sidewalks, civic spaces, parks as well as buildings and sites, is critical to support a healthy, safe and sustainable pedestrian and bike-friendly environment. Explore strategies for best practices and discuss the importance of informed policies. Discuss ways to engage and empower citizens to participate in local planning efforts and initiatives.

Speakers: Hon. David Cieslewicz, Mayor, Madison, Wisconsin
Matt Ingalls, Ingalls Planning and Design
Roger Brown, Architect, Barkstrom and LeCroix
Marcia Barry, Director, Planning and Zoning, City of Rochester

Inclusive Design

Topic: Accessible and inclusive design elements that benefit users of wheelchairs —curb cuts, stairway ramps, car-free multi-use trails, and low-traffic neighborhood greenways, etc.--are equally beneficial to cyclists, pedestrians, and stroller-pushers! This session will explore explore design challenges, best practices, opportunities, and synergies for wheelers and walkers of all persuasions.

Speakers: Ed Steinfeld, Director, Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access
Alex Bitterman, RIT
Bill Armbruster, AARP
Teresa Carrol, RIT.

Campus Community Connections

Topic: How can colleges and universities take a leadership role in promoting active transportation in our communities? This session will spotlight successful initiatives, and explore the potential for further developments.

Speakers: Tom Robinson, Landscape Architect, edr companies
Richard Pifer, VP of Facilities and Services, University of Rochester
Shianne Chatarjee, student,University of Rochester
Lois Chaplin, Bike Ped Specialist, Cornell Local Roads Program

The Mother of Invention - Not Everyone Owns a Car!

Topic: Many people walk and wheel out of necessity, not choice. One in four households in the City of Rochester do not own a car. This session will explore local initiatives to meet the active transportation needs of low-income individuals; and the challenges faced by those who do not own cars.

Speakers: Dan Lill, R Community Bikes
Cappy Collins, Cyclopedia; Frances Cordero, Rochester Walks; and Bridges to Success

Community Toolbox: Planning to Finance

Topic: Municipalities strive to maintain and improve the quality of life in their communities. We will talk about specific tools to create visions, assessments, plans, policies and programs to provide your community with safe and pleasant walking, wheeling and mass transit choices AS WELL AS how to fund these efforts.

Speakers: Jeff Olson, Architect and Planner
Alta Planning + Design
Margit Brazda Poirier
Owner and Grant Writing Consultant, Grants4Good
Erik Frisch, Transportation Specialist, City of Rochester

Safety & Security

Topic: Concerns about personal safety and security can make our choices to walk, bicycle, or use public transportation less desirable than they should be. Speakers will discuss education, enforcement, and design strategies that encourage more people to walk and bicycle while improving their personal safety and security from crime.

Speakers: Jean Triest, Monroe County Office of Traffic Safety
Mark Johns, Landscape Architect Bergmann Associates
Chris Delaney, Director of Business Intelligence, Rochester Police Department

Incentivizing Active Transportation

Topic: Working adults often have transportation choices. This session will explore policies that help make active transportation a rational and desirable choice. These policies include employer assistance for homes purchased near the workplace, employer assistance with transit passes, location efficient mortgages and car insurance policies, and others. While perhaps not as immediate as other efforts to promote walking and biking as transportation, these policies can have a longer term impact on decisions on where to live.

Speakers: Deborah Thompson, University of Rochester, Human Resources Representative, Faculty & Staff Benefits Administers the University Home Ownership Incentive Program

The University Home Ownership Incentive Program is a collaborative effort with the City of Rochester, Advantage Federal Credit Union, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and M&T Bank to offer regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff up to $9,000 toward the purchase of a primary residence in Sectors 4 or 6 of the city. These two city sectors include neighborhoods well within walking and biking distance of the University’s River Campus and Medical Center, such as the 19th Ward and the South Wedge.

Christopher J. Doran, Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, Director of Business Development

Our region’s public transit system augments active transportation; virtually every transit rider begins and ends the journey as a pedestrian or bicyclist. RGRTA offers employer-based programs that incentivize transit-pass purchases and has implemented technology such as bike racks on busses and real-time bus arrival signage to make the system even more effective.

Convergence Session: Education, Outreach, Advocacy

Topic: ACT Act; improved mobility for people with disabilities; RCA as outlet for GRATS; education in schools and elsewhere.

Participants: Richard DeSarra, NY Bicycle Club, Rochester Bicycle Club, Rochester Cycling Alliance

Convergence Session: Bike Week Rides

Topic: Rochester Bike Week is May 20-27. We want to build on the successes of last year’s Bike Week by expanding the event and bringing in more community partners to get the message out that bikes belong on Rochester’s streets.

Participants: Jason Hammel, Rochester Cycling Alliance

What Should Our Community’s Active Transportation Plan Look Like?

Topic: Transportation networks transcend transport modalities and regional boundaries. To create a truly integrated transportation network we need collaboration between municipalities, counties and states, and between transit authorities, local businesses, policy makers and stakeholders. This discussion will review boundary-crossing projects such as the Greater Rochester Active Transportation System, and the Triple Divide Trail, and consider needs, prospects, and plans for coordination and collaboration.

Participants: Jon Schull, RIT
Karen Berger, University of Rochester.

Convergence Session: Review Town Board Presentation

Topic: A workshop session to create a presentation on the What, Why, and How of Active Transportation specifically oriented toward an audience of town and city councils. Beginning with a skeleton presentation, we will work collaboratively, drawing on attendees unique perspectives, to anticipate and address the concerns of municipal leaders. The final product will be made available for use by active transportation advocates.

Participants: Joshua Carlsen, Planner
Jeff Olson, Architect and Planner; Alta Planning + Design, Saratoga Springs, NY;

Information For Exhibitors & Sponsors

Download the Exhibitor & Sponsor guide PDF.