News Release - Mayor Thomas S. Richards Names New Street “Sawdey Way” For Tireless Community Advocate Virginia Sawdey

City of Rochester

News Release

New Mid-block cross street is Rochester’s first “Green Street”

Virginia Sawdey with friends(Monday, May 20, 2013) – Mayor Thomas S. Richards joined family members of the late Virginia Sawdey and community members Monday to mark the official opening of Rochester’s newest street as “Sawdey Way” in memory of a woman whose name has become synonymous with community advocacy in Northwest Rochester.

“Virginia Sawdey was persistent and determined in her efforts to make the Edgerton Neighborhood a better place for its residents and visitors,” said Mayor Richards. “She was a role model for anyone who was willing to refuse complacency and demand action. I am honored to name this street after her to ensure the legacy of Virginia Sawdey, and all that she stood for, lives on.”

Sawdey Way connects Locust and Emerson Streets, cutting in two a residential block that had once been the longest in the city. The new street alignment will be easier for Police and Fire Departments to provide public safety in the area and improve the delivery of other City services.

Virginia Sawdey, who died in October at age 88, was a longtime resident of the Edgerton Neighborhood and an active volunteer in several neighborhood groups, including Police And Citizens Together Against Crime.

She was referred to as “The Mayor of Driving Park Avenue,” and was a tireless advocate for improvements to public safety in Northwest Rochester.

Sawdey Way required the demolition of four vacant houses and was constructed using new ecologically friendly technologies, making it Rochester’s first street to be given “green street” designation. Green-street features include porous pavement, pervious concrete sidewalks and rain gardens, which help filter pollutants from storm water before it enters the ground water system.

The total project cost was $440,000, including $255,000 from a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Water Quality Improvement Project grant.


News Media: For more information, contact Paul Holahan, Commissioner of Environmental Services, at 428-6855.