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Businesses wary of Inner Loop change

Rochester, N.Y. -- Jack Darcy owns Rochester Antique Market on Monroe Avenue. He said businesses along Monroe don't oppose plans to fill in the Inner Loop, but do have concerns about the addition of a pedestrian island.

Darcy said that change would prevent people from making a left turn on to Monroe to visit businesses in that area.

The Inner Loop construction plan is designed to re-establish ties to neighborhoods and businesses by filling in the 60-year-old highway and developing the 6-acre parcel so that it is both neighborhood and business friendly.

But some business owners said the addition of the pedestrian island would drive their business away because people could either make a right and head downtown or go straight onto Interstate 490. There wouldn't be an option to head east on Monroe from the new boulevard.

Darcy said he will meet with a representative from the mayor's office Tuesday, and he said Monroe Avenue merchants will attend City Council meetings to oppose what they consider "a last-minute addition that could cost them business."

He said an estimated 3,000 people drive through that area during peak business hours and much of that traffic would be cut off from Monroe Avenue merchants if the pedestrian island is built.

The city did not respond to our requests for comment on the proposal. Designs for the Inner Loop East Project are being submitted until June. Construction is set to begin in the fall and will last until 2017.


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Washington Times