Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association

Upper Monroe Avenue

Bicycle Boulevards

Consider bicycling to your favorite destination.

View UMNA Bicycle Boulevards in a larger map
View Upper Monroe Bicycle Boulevard Ride in a larger map

On December 2, 2009, the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association (UMNA) Executive Committee voted to support the Bicycle Boulevard concept in the City of Rochester. This decision may herald a healthier, friendlier, and safer neighborhood for us all, even if you don’t bike.  What are bicycle boulevards? “Bike Boulevards are: Low-traffic neighborhood streets that have been optimized for bicycling;” (  The goal is to provide attractive, safe routes through the neighborhood for bicyclists.  See for a comprehensive discussion of the concept.

Why the Upper Monroe neighborhood?  In order to adopt a city-wide system of bicycle boulevards, they must be coordinated across many neighborhoods.  UMNA stepped up to the plate and became the first neighborhood in our city to endorse the City of Rochester’s decision to include bicycle boulevards in its Bicycle Masterplan. Eventually, we want to provide the Rochester community with an example of bicycle boulevards designed to connect neighborhoods with the city-wide trail system and to encourage bicycle use by casual bike riders to nearby destinations.

If you want to see the five specific Bicycle Boulevard routes in the Upper Monroe Neighborhood, check out the map above.  These routes go between Upper Monroe and several important destinations, specifically to the Little Theater, the East Avenue Wegman’s, the Brighton Town library, Brighton 12 Corners, and Mt..Hope area/Riverway and Canal Trails.

The five Bicycle Boulevards (BB) routes we have designed are only suggested routes, or corridors, that one can follow through a neighborhood. BBs are designed with destinations in mind; to stores, libraries, links to other neighborhood's BBs or trails, entertainments, cultural sites. You may find parallel streets to our BB streets that are as good as the ones we choose. You may have a destination in mind you frequent. Design your own BB and send it along.

Is your neighborhood ready for Bicycle Boulevards? If you are interested, contact Richard Desarra

Photos of our First Bicycle Boulevard Demonstration Ride.

The ride starts here. bicyclists assemple
We're ready to roll out Bicyclists in the streets where they belong
Arriving in the 19th Wad via the bicycle boulevard



Rochester bicycle boulevard ride a success!

On Sunday, May 23 at 1 PM in Cobbs Hill Park over forty bicyclists began a bicycle boulevard demonstration ride through Upper Monroe neighborhood in Rochester, New York. They were not racers, or members of a single bicycling club, or recruits for a charity ride.  They were just ordinary folks finding out what a bicycle boulevard would look and feel like in our area.  

Maybe, it is a harbinger of things to come. Portland, Oregon’s next generation bicycle boulevards is already achieving what we are attempting here: “A low traffic volume and low traffic speed street where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors are given priority.”  Already, this concept is being introduced as one of the choices for Bicycle Master Plan being developed by the City of Rochester and the county of Monroe.

Preparation for this demonstration ride began almost a year ago by choosing a neighborhood properly situated near the heart of the city, en route to popular generators.  A generator is a destination that attracts traffic, like a supermarket, or the center of the city, the theatre district, and in Rochester’s case, its wonderful network of trails (including the New York State Canal Trail) which come to a hub at Genesee Park. 

Then, for this specific demonstration ride, a route from the Upper Monroe neighborhood was mapped out and temporality signed, pointing out each turn of the ride.  When fully developed, this bicycle boulevard would not only have permanent signage, it might have many other features like auto speed reduction, auto traffic reduction, and various changes to make crossing busy streets easier and safer. ( Ultimately, Upper Monroe bicycle boulevards would be linked to a series of other boulevards routes throughout all our neighborhoods providing safe and enjoyable routes that make our neighborhoods more neighborly.  Not to mention, fewer fossil burning vehicles, less ozone alert days, and a lighter impact on climate change.

What might be the tipping point from a community that views bicycles, walking, and public transportation as peripheral ways of getting around, to a city that is designed specifically around these transportation options?  Maybe, pack up all our influential community leaders and send them to Portland, Oregon, or Boulder, Colorado, or Europe and let them see how they do it.  Don’t laugh, it’s been done—and it worked!

Bicycle Boulevard Resources

Sponsored by:

The Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association (UMNA) is a not-for-profit advocacy group representing the 3,300 residents and property owners in the Upper Monroe Neighborhood.   

The Rochester Bicycling Club (RBC) is a recreational cycling  organization. RBC is dedicated  to promote cycling for health and well being. RBC events include; recreational weekend and weeknights riding, social evening dinner rides, road cycling, time trialing and overnight weekends.   

Rochester Cycling Alliance: (RCA)  The RCA is an organization which works to create better cycling infrastructure and a stronger voice for cyclists in Rochester, NY.   

Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club’s Transportation Committee.