Parking Platform Groundbreaking in Downtown Rochester

East Street Parking Platform is the First of Two

On Monday, the weather was partly cloudy and very cold. However, that did not stop the groundbreaking ceremony for the first of two parking platforms being constructed in downtown Rochester. The 11-month project will cost $12 million and provide 550 parking spaces.

The current parking lot east of Main Street behind the alley, and between Fourth and University along East Street, was being fenced off during the groundbreaking. Representatives from city council, the parking committee and the construction company braved the freezing temperatures to recap the two-year adventure to the parking issues in Rochester.

Rochester Mayor Jeffrey Cuthbertson sums up the two year journey of the Parking Plan in Downtown Rochester - photo by Michael Dwyer

Rochester Mayor Jeffrey Cuthbertson sums up the two year journey of the Parking Plan in Downtown Rochester – photo by Michael Dwyer

Speakers at the Groundbreaking

Rochester City Manager, Jaymes Vettraino, welcomed those in attendance and introduced the other speakers. Matt Jobin, Architect from Rich and Associates was there, as well as Frank Rewold, the Construction Manager from Frank Rewold and Son. Rochester Mayor Jeffrey Cuthbertson summed up the reason of the groundbreaking, “We didn’t have enough parking in the right locations,” said Cuthbertson.

In April of 2013, a parking strategy and survey was delivered to the city from McKenna Associates. It explored the current downtown parking situation and determined that there was enough parking for the current business climate in the city. However, some lots were jammed all the time, while other lots sat half-empty.

After the Mainstreet Makeover, 300 new parking meters were installed on Main Street and a few side streets in the downtown area. This was part of the solution and the beginning of the Parking Management District.

The Parking Platform Timeline

The plan is to create tiered parking lots in regards to price. This will help juggle the parking spaces in the surface lots in combination with the current metered street parking. The two parking platforms are the largest part of the plan.

Parking Platform Groundbreaking - photo by Michael Dwyer

Parking Platform Groundbreaking with Councilmember Rob Ray, Parking Committee Member Eldon Thompson & Vito Pampalona, Councilmember Cathy Daldin, Mayor Cuthbertson, Mayor Pro Tem Ben Giovanelli, Councilmember Kim Russell, and Parking Committee Member Missy Markovitz – photo by Michael Dwyer

With the groundbreaking on January 5, the East Platform will be the first to be built. It is scheduled to be completed in June. The West Platform (west of Main Street along Walnut Street) will begin construction in March and last into November. During the four-month crossover period, parking will be a challenge in Rochester. However, this will put most of the work being done during the warmer months and will be less of a burden on the local businesses who desperately want the project completed before the holiday shopping rush leading up to Christmas. The parking platforms will offer free parking for the first two hours once opened.

Temporary parking of 140 spaces will be available behind the Rochester Mills Beer Company on the corner of Third Street and Water Street during the construction.

“Embarking on this parking infrastructure project is another major step forward for the City and will serve to strengthen and grow its very successful downtown business district,” said Mayor Jeffrey Cuthbertson. “After over two years of careful study and business case planning, now is the time launch construction of these parking platforms and lay a foundation for the future.”

Follow the above links in this article for further details previously covered by Rochester Media and The Community Edge regarding many of the parking concerns over the past two years.

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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