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Calm at Liberty Pole following busing changes

Rochester, N.Y. --- Friday afternoon was noticeably calmer in Downtown Rochester as the city implemented changes to the system that buses students home from school.

The changes came after a violent week near the Liberty Pole that included shots fired during one incident.

"When you put a lot of people that have problems and different things down there you have different situations like last week, a whole bunch of fighting like everyday," said Willie Webb, a senior at the School Without Walls.

"I stopped coming down here due to the fact of the violence, the drugs and all the nonsense that goes on," said Nicole Mudorff of Rochester. "Now I'm down here today and I'm shocked to see there is nobody here. It's a much better environment, I feel safer walking."

The changes to the bussing system for students are actually a return to a system established last year in response to similar complaints.

Students are issued "express passes" that allow them to catch buses from school and directly home to their neighborhoods in many cases. A few schools still have students transferring downtown and those students are issued "connection passes" that require them to catch the next bus home.

Friday afternoon the area around the Liberty Pole and along Main Street was noticeably less crowded.

"It's bumping and crowding and you just don't know who you are going to bump into and how they're going to react so it's not just violence but the fear of the unknown," said Mundorff.

"Yeah I mean it's more quieter and I'm not seeing a lot of people here," said Anthony Harry, a senior at School Without Walls.

"It's nice and empty today it was really easy to get around," said Nate a Scott a downtown college student. "Apparently there's been some violence lately which I vehement pacifist that I try to stay away from, just kind of walk around and mind my own business."

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Washington Times