Air Quality in Rochester

I received this clarification of a topic that was discussed.  We now have better, but not great air downtown.  I might add that this is why regulation is a necessary evil and good for the public.

Excellent presentation but I thought I should follow up with this FYI.

Regarding the City’s air quality non-attainment status. I wrote the Transportation Control Plan and coordinated the modeling in the late 1970s.  The City was cited in the 1970s for CO and Smog. The CO was transportation oriented. The SMOG or SO2 was from power plant and industrial sources. Exceedences of the standards usually occurred during inversions and typically on a Friday afternoon.

The CO problem was not because of the buses. The CO monitor was located under the Library canopy on South Broadway in the 10 block. (MPCA required the monitor to be in a hot spot.) On Fridays vehicles would cue up southbound on Broadway (in front of Michaels) to turn west on 1st Street then into the NW Bank Drive across from Hannys where Wells Fargo is now located. The modeling showed the City  would come into compliance by 1984 as old cars were replaced with newer models with better emissions.

The City still had to adopt strategies (per MPCA) which included;

  • Removal of signals on Broadway at 1st and 3rd to improve progression (We still had mostly mechanical signals)
  • Build West Silver Lake Dr as a bypass over the tracks (this was a dead end)
  • Promote public transit and other alternative modes
  • Create loading zones to get delivery trucks out of traffic lanes

The City also helped NW Bank relocate the drive-in to East Center.

Thank you,

Anthony Knauer
Transit and Parking Manager

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