Update 19 – October 2023

Presidents Message

Welcome October! Our thanks to the City of Rochester, County of Monroe and everyone involved with moving forward the traffic calming solution on Thurston Rd. The City of Rochester/County of Monroe news release can be read in this newsletter’s Around the Neighborhood section.

There were several community engagement opportunities in September that the 19WCA participated in. Kate Washington and I tabled at Senator Cooney’s End of Summer BBQ held at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church on September 9. Sandra Powell and Barbara Watts joined Ruth and I at the Genesee Baptist Church Health Fair. The Leadership Rochester class visited the 19th Ward Community Association at the Arnett Library on September 22nd. Sandra, Ruth and I enjoyed the wonderful exchange of information learning about the different organizations they represented, as they learned about the 19WCA’s role and priorities. Also on September 22nd residents of the 19WCA enjoyed a lovely evening of food, fun and fellowship at the Meet Your Delegates and Neighbors event., held at the home of Kate Washington.

Planning for our Annual Convention has begun! Please mark your calendar for November 17th, 6-8pm at School #16. If you are interested in helping with this annual event, please email our office manager at 19thward@19wca.org

King and I have enjoyed the neighborhood decorations for Halloween. Please encourage your children’s safety for that night while still having fun! Thank you for continuing to support the 19th Ward Community Association. Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.

Josie T. McClary

President, 19th Ward Community Association


Rapids Cemetery

Helpers are needed Saturday and Sunday afternoons Oct. 7th and 8th from 12:30pm until 3:30pm at Rapids Cemetery at 60 Congress Avenue just two blocks south of Brooks Avenue off Genesee Street. We will be planting six lilac bushes donated by the City and adding mulch to hold moisture. This will increase our number of developing lilac bushes to fourteen. Tools, refreshments and work gloves will be provided. Wear long clothing and sturdy footwear. Young volunteers need to be accompanied by an adult. Work proceeds rain or shine.

Pamela, our deer 19th Ward visitor at Rapids Cemetery & Six lilac bushes needing soil preparation and planting.

City of Rochester/Monroe County News Release

For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 6, 2023

City, County Work Quickly on Thurston Road Traffic Calming Measures

Rochester, NY — Mayor Malik D. Evans and County Executive Adam Bello announced significant progress on street calming measures on a portion of Thurston Road that was the scene of a traffic fatality earlier this summer.

“Pedestrian fatalities are up nationally, and we are making every effort with our partners at the County to reverse those trends locally,” said Mayor Evans. Sadly, we can put faces to these statistics. The tragedy that happened on Thurston Road in June took Ryan “Bear” Grantham Jr., an incredible light to his family, friends and neighbors and a life lost far too soon. We are working to stop these tragedies and we continue to pray for the victims and families that have lost loved ones because of these crashes.”

“The County and City are working together to end senseless pedestrian and bicyclist crashes and fatalities which have become a year-round problem,” said County Executive Bello. “Drivers need to remain alert at all times and especially in our commercial corridors where pedestrian traffic is high, and citizens are at their most vulnerable. Our partnership with the City to make crucial infrastructure improvements will continue, and the tragic loss of Ryan and other victims will keep our mission ever present.”

The Monroe County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has completed an in-depth traffic and pedestrian safety study on Thurston Road between Sawyer and Hillendale Streets, the scene of the fatality. The in-depth study included a speed study, a review of accident reports, and several field visits to assess the current condition of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The study identified obstructed and limited visibility, steady pedestrian volumes crossing midblock between Hillendale and Sawyer Streets, as well as some driving in excess of the 30 MPH speed limit in sections of the corridor.

Based upon the study’s findings, the City is installing essential traffic calming measures including a marked midblock crosswalk on Thurston between Hillendale Street and Sawyer Street. The midblock crosswalk will connect with the existing sidewalk system where many pedestrians cross to access businesses. The midblock crosswalk will include high visibility pavement markings as well as a rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) and associated pedestrian signs. An RRFB consists of rectangular, yellow lights that flash when activated to enhance visibility of pedestrians and increase driver awareness.

Southwest YMCA

The City is in the process of designing these safety improvements and will complete construction and installation by the end of the fall season. The electrical components of the RRFB have a lag time in delivery associated with supply chain issues, so that installation may take longer.

From Brian Wilmot I am reaching out to you today to see if you are interested in being a part of the Fantastic 12. I am inviting 12 people to join me in investing $76 , the cost of 1 month of Senior membership.  1-year senior membership is $912.

Did you know loneliness has the same impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day on a person’s health? For our seniors, social isolation and loneliness is a serious problem.

Having a YMCA local and easy to access is life changing for our seniors. The Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center connects seniors to resources and support to stay active, socialize, eat healthy and prevent or manage chronic diseases through group fitness classes, Silver Sneakers program, community resource fairs, bus trips, weekly congregant meals & the curbside market.

Together we can provide 1 senior a year of community, 1 year of belonging, 1 year of health and wellness. 1 year of investment can make a lifetime of change!

Any support of ANY size will be greatly appreciated family. Feel free to share with anyone that you think would be interested in joining the fantastic 12 !

Donate here: [rochesterymca.org] Drop down to Thurston Road YMCA Neighborhood Center or Brians crowd funding page link here

SW Street Managers, John DeMott and Chris McDonald


Residents have identified particular stores in SW Rochester where marijuana may be available without the required NYS license from the Office of Cannabis Management.   Typically these businesses may identify as “smoke shops”.    Local law enforcement has advised that suspected illegal sales will only be investigated if they are reported directly to the  NYS Office of Cannabis Management.  Attached is a page from the OFM website.  

The actual link used to report a suspected violation is: 


SW Business Corridor Meetings:

TBMA (Thurston/Brooks/Arnett) 9a- First Wednesday of the month in person (923 Genesee) and online

Genesee – 9a- Second Wednesday of the month in person (923 Genesee) and online 

Mt Hope – 9a – Second Thursday online

JABA (Jefferson Ave)  9a- Third Tuesday of the month online

CABA (Chili Ave) 9a – Third Wednesday of the month in person (923 Genesee) and online 

S. Plymouth 9a- Fourth Tues of the month online 

W. Main 9a- Fourth Thursday of the month online

Arnett Branch Library

VEO – Are scooters being left behind in your neighborhood?

The City of Rochester is committed to enhancing mobility for residents and visitors as we advance toward a future of sustainable, safe, and equitable transportation. The City’s bicycle and scooter shared mobility program is an important part of meeting this goal. 

The City partners with Veo, an independent shared mobility company, to operate a mixed fleet of shared e-scooters and e-bikes. Devices are distributed throughout neighborhoods in each quadrant of the City. Veo employs a team of local staff who are responsible for distributing and maintaining the fleet and responding to any issues or complaints. Learn more at veoride.com/rochester-ny/.

How to ride a Veo e-scooter or e-bike

  • Riders (ages 18+ only) can download the free VeoRide app (available through the App Store and Google Play) to locate a nearby e-bike or e-scooter. 
  • Scan the device’s QR code using the VeoRide app and pay $1 to unlock the vehicle. Current per-minute rates for rentals are available through the app. First-time users will need to complete a user agreement and review rules of the road. 
  • After completing their trip, riders may park their vehicle upright and adjacent to a bike rack, in a designated Veo hub as identified in the app, or on the edge of a sidewalk along the curb without obstructing the sidewalk. If another user does not rent the vehicle soon thereafter, local Veo staff will pick it up. All devices are GPS-enabled. 
  • Riders must not block sidewalks, handicap-accessible curb ramps, bike lanes, or the roadway when parking an e-bike or e-scooter. Riders are required to submit a photo within the app to confirm proper parking. 

How to report a Veo scooter or e-bike that is knocked over or improperly parked

  • If an e-scooter or e-bike is blocking a sidewalk, curb ramp, bike lane, or the roadway, please report the issue to Veo. 
  • Gather identifying information about the vehicle. If possible, snap a photo of its QR code or the frame number at the bottom of the vehicle’s stem. 
  • Note the vehicle’s location using a street address or the nearest intersection. 
  • Send a brief email to hello@veoride.com describing the vehicle’s location and the problem. Make sure to note you’re reporting an issue in Rochester, NY. If possible, attach a photo. 
  • Veo will dispatch a local technician to address the issue. 
  • You can also report an issue by gathering the above information and calling Veo’s customer service number at 855-836-2256. 


Zap (Zoning Alignment Project) Update 

Submitted by Councilmember LaShay D. Harris, South District

I have heard from many residents that there are concerns that the zoning would change without community input. The Mayor’s administration has released the ZAP draft and have set the public informational meetings.  Please use this opportunity to have your voice heard.

The City has released updated draft Rochester Zoning Codes and Maps, along with a State environmental quality review draft general environmental impact statement (GEIS) to the public for review and comment. This is the final step in the City’s zoning alignment project (ZAP), which is the process of updating the City’s zoning code and map to align with the City’s Comprehensive Plan (CSP) Rochester 2034.

The goal of the ZAP is to make Rochester a “welcoming place” for new residents/businesses while maintaining and improving the quality of life/economic vitality for current residents/businesses. The full draft code/map, the draft DGEIS, a comparison of the existing/proposed maps, and a description and justification for what is being proposed as well as the potential impacts/mitigation of those impacts are all included in the draft. The link to the draft.  www.rochesterzap.com

Informational meetings with City staff to learn more about the ZAP, ask questions, and submit written comments are planned as follows: 

A Zoom Webinar:

·              6:30 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 18 cityofrochester.zoom.us/j/81226169896

In-person informational meetings: 

·              6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Edgerton R-Center, Stardust Ballroom, 41 Backus St. 

·              6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Thomas P. Ryan R-Center, 530 Webster Ave. 

·              6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the Kusler-Cox Auditorium (3rd Floor of Rundel Memorial Library), 115 South Ave. 

Written comments on the documents will be accepted at the informational meetings, through the website comment portal (https://rochesterzap.com/contact/), and/or mailed to: 

Matthew Simonis, Manager of Zoning 

City Hall – Room 125B 

30 Church St. 

Rochester, NY 14614

In addition, two public hearings before the Rochester Environmental Commission will be held on the following dates. Verbal comments will be accepted at these hearings:           

·              6: 30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, at City Council Chambers at City Hall, 30 Church St. 

·              6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 30 Church St.  

Comments will be accepted through Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. 


About ROC Respite

  • A free neighborhood drop-in respite center for older adults
  • Located within the city of Rochester
  • Provides caregivers with access to respite services
  • Provides a safe and engaging care weekly with trained staff and volunteers
  • Intergenerational activities with local St. John Fisher University students
  • Target population: Families in the 19thWard and Corn Hill neighborhoods
  • Care receivers may have memory loss, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or another chronic conditions
  • Partnership between Exhale- the Family Caregiver Initiative, Lifespan, NYSCRC, and St. John Fisher University

Our on-site coordinator is Dawn Bush dbush@lifespan-roch.org; (585) 244-8400 x 261


Committee Information

Reach out to our office manager if you would like to get involved.

Delegates Council

Delegates Council will meet 2nd Thursday of each month at the Arnett Branch Library except July and August. NEW TIME! 6:30pm

Garden Committee

The Garden Committee is always looking for help in maintaining our neighborhood gardens.

Communications Committee, Kate Phillips, Chair

Housing Committee

The 19th Ward Housing Committee will be restarting soon. Our meetings generally last about an hour. A City representative from Buildings and Code Enforcement attends to work with us on specific properties, concerns/issues, code enforcement, etc. 

Schools Committee

The schools committee is continuing to meet and will keep us updated on the good work they’re doing.