Rochester's Inner Loop
This page is for all the Road
Scholars on misc.transport.road
who are intrigued by our little "vest-pocket expressway".
What is the Inner Loop?
- A very short, controlled-access expressway surrounding
downtown Rochester, New York.
- Part of this route is multiplexed with Interstate 490,
although this is never shown on reassurance markers.
- The route is roughly oval, being wider (from west to east)
than it is tall (from north to south). There is a significant
recurve in the northeastern "corner" of the route.
- The two junctions between I-490 and the Inner Loop proper
occur at the northwestern "corner" of the loop (the "western
junction") and at the south side of the loop east of the Genesee
River (the "southern junction").
- The part of the Inner Loop that is not multiplexed with I-490
is sometimes mis-identified as I-490 on maps. It is, however, a
distinct state highway, with Little Green Markers giving its
"secret" route number as 940T.
- The same Little Green Markers give the length of the outer
half of the Inner Loop as 2.2 miles, not counting the I-490
multiplexed section. The markers are numbered from the western
junction clockwise to the southern junction.
- Standard cardinal directions are used along the Inner Loop:
east/west from the western junction to the northeast "corner";
north/south from Main Street to Monroe Avenue; east/west again
from Monroe Avenue to I-490 (including the entrance to I-490 at
Plymouth Avenue). North/south Inner Loop signs are not used on
the west side of the Genesee since that is the I-490 section
where Inner Loop reassurance markers are not used.
- Direction and arrow signs are colored (white on orange) to
match the Inner Loop route marker.
- Exits are not numbered.
- Speed limit on the Inner Loop proper is 45 MPH.
What does it look like?
- From the western junction with I-490 eastbound over the
northern side, the Inner Loop is elevated west of the Genesee
River, paralleling a set of railroad tracks which cross the
Genesee mere feet upstream of the Upper Falls. There's not much
of a river view, however; the bridges are low (as the river is
non-navigable here anyway) and the view downstream is obscured by
utility wires and the rail bridge.
- After crossing the Genesee, the highway runs into an
eastbound cut in the riverbank with high retaining walls. Turning
south, the highway descends into another cut with retaining
walls, then climbs to meet I-490 at the eastern approach to the
- As I-490 westbound joins the Inner Loop, and again after it
crosses the Genesee, it turns northward for a short stretch. This
stretch of I-490 has marked changes in elevation from one block
to the next, and therefore has a speed limit of 40 MPH. At the
end of its second northern excursion, I-490 dives into a deep
bend to continue west, while the Inner Loop splits off at the top
to head back toward the river.
Exits (Clockwise from the western junction)
- Plymouth Avenue/State Street (Accessible from I-490 East
- Saint Paul Street/Clinton Avenue/Joseph Avenue
- Scio Street
- East Main Street/University Avenue (Left Exit, No
- (NY 96) East Avenue/Broad Street (No entrance)
- (NY 31) Monroe Avenue
- (NY 15) South Avenue/Clinton Avenue (No entrance)
- I-490 East (Begin multiplex with I-490 West)
- Plymouth Avenue/Broad Street (No entrance)
- Inner Loop (End multiplex with I-490 West)
Exits (Counterclockwise from the western junction)
- Plymouth Avenue (actually an I-490 entrance, no exit
- (NY 15) South Avenue (End multiplex with I-490 East. No
- (NY 31) Monroe Avenue
- Broad Street/(NY 96) East Avenue
- University Avenue/East Main Street
- Clinton Avenue/Saint Paul Street/Joseph Avenue
- State Street/Plymouth Avenue
- I-490 West (Begin multiplex with I-490 East)
- You can enter I-490 Eastbound from within the Inner Loop at
the Inner Loop junction from Monroe Avenue, two separate ramps at
South Avenue, Plymouth Avenue at Troup Street, and the Inner Loop
junction at Plymouth Avenue. In contrast, you can only enter
I-490 Westbound from the two Inner Loop junctions.
- Likewise, you can exit I-490 Westbound to within the Inner
Loop at the two-lane Clinton Avenue exit or the Plymouth
Avenue/Broad Street exit, but to reach downtown from I-490
Eastbound you must exit at the Inner Loop junctions.
- This indicates a strong bias in traffic patterns toward
approaching downtown from the east rather than from the west.
(The Brown Street/Broad Street exit takes some of the traffic to
and from I-490 west of downtown, but involves a detour on side
streets outside the Inner Loop.)
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