Sawdey Way - Building a Green Street

Sawdey Way, a new street with "green" features connects Emerson and Locust Streets.Click the image for a larger view 

Where is Sawdey Way?

A new residential street that connects Emerson Street and Locust Street approximately at the mid-point between Dewey Avenue and Fulton Avenue. The new street and right-of-way (publicly-owned space like pavement, curbing, sidewalks, etc) occupy the formerly vacant City-owned parcels located at 198 Emerson Street, 45 Locust Street, and 47 Locust Street. The structures on all three parcels have were demolished prior to the start of the street project.   

Why build a new street?

In 2007, the Rochester Police Department and Sector 3 neighborhood group recommended a cross street be constructed between Locust Street and Emerson Street in order to enhance public safety delivery in the area. Locust Street runs from Dewey Avenue to Fulton Avenue. As a result of this long, uninterrupted stretch of street, both police and fire service delivery are negatively impacted since it takes longer for responders to arrive at scenes. 

An ancillary benefit of installing a new street is that the water main on the new street connects the existing watermains on Emerson and Locust Streets, improving fire-fighting flows for both streets and adding redundancy to the water mains in the area. 

Why "Sawdey Way?"

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. Her name has become synonymous with community advocacy in Northwest Rochester.

She was referred to as “The Mayor of Driving Park Avenue,” and was a tireless advocate for improvements to public safety 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 at the ribbon cutting on May 20, 2013. “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.”

"Greening" the street

This street incorporates eco-friendly features such as porous pavement and rain gardens to reduce runoff to the sewer system. These "green" components utilize either special materials or natural vegetation to act as sediment filters. When it rains or snows, flowing sediments and pollutants will be captured by the pavement and rain gardens before they can find their way into the groundwater system. A neighborhood garden was installed as well.

Funding for the project was provided by NYSDEC and the City of Rochester.


If you have questions about the project, please contact City project manager, Ms. Lisa Reyes, at (585) 428-6354, or email her.