Discovery Walk: Connecting the District

Cities across the country are exploring new and improved ways to design the streets and corridors that connect us to the places we live, work, and play. In downtown Rochester, DMC is looking at options to provide practical, safe, and appealing ways for everyone to move between the six sub-districts.

Most recently, designers for DMC have been focusing on the future of a four-block segment of Second Avenue SW. The corridor – which extends south from Heart of the City through Discovery Square and down to Soldiers Field – has been dubbed “Discovery Walk.”

“Connecting existing and future assets of downtown is essential,” says Patrick Seeb, director of economic development and placemaking for the initiative’s Economic Development Agency. “Discovery Walk will be an integral piece of the greater plan for the DMC District.”

Discovery Walk is among several downtown streets to be redesigned as part of the DMC initiative.

“Several options for how the street could be re-structured are being considered,” says Seeb. At one end of the spectrum, the street would be completely closed off to vehicles, making it a pedestrian- and bike-only route. At the other, the entire four-block segment would remain open to both vehicles and pedestrians with lanes shifted to accommodate safe passage for both groups.

The design team hosted community outreach events at Mayo Clinic’s Hardwick Building and the People’s Food Coop this fall. “The events gave us an opportunity to introduce Discovery Walk to the community and gauge their reactions,” says Kelly Majewski, landscape architect for Coen+Partners, an organization on the design team. Some people voiced a desire to see more temporary food options and gathering spaces. Others hope to see the street activated with festivals, art installations, and activities for families.

Another community meeting is scheduled for December 14 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room at Zumbro Lutheran Church on 624 3rd Ave SW, where the design team hopes to gather additional feedback on programming and design. A final plan is expected during the first quarter of 2018.

Want a broader look at the DMC District? Visit the DMC maps page.

Interested in attending the upcoming community meeting? RSVP here.