Music on Main Street

Created: 03/14/2014 6:27 PM WHEC.com
By: Lia Lando

People walking along a portion of Main Street are being forced to hear a certain type of music. You can call it, “Music on Main Street.” The owners of the building say it’s a business move. They claim it is a way to prevent teens from loitering in front of their property.

If you’ve lived in Rochester for a while, you know the Liberty Pole outside the Sibley Building is known for violence. It seems officials and the mall owners have tried more police and even mounted patrols, just about everything to stop it. But recently, they introduced something new and unexpected.

The classical music blaring from the speakers outside the Sibley Building keeps Loritea Ellis walking.

Loritea Ellis said, “Because it is boring. It doesn’t call for trouble.”

And that’s the point; Joe Eddy from Winn Development says it is to create a nice atmosphere.

Joe Eddy, Vice President, Winn Development, said, "We started playing the music to give the Sibley building an essence of the way the building felt and the way downtown felt at its prime.”

But it is also keeping teenagers from loitering, like they’ve been known to do over the years. Hundreds gather on Main Street and Clinton Avenue and hang out long enough to get into trouble; it has led to countless fights, drug deals and stabbings.  

David Miller, Rochester, said, "People our age don't really listen to music like this so when they hear it they don't want to stand here. It just makes them keep moving.”

The idea isn't new. Businesses across the nation have been playing classical music to help fight crime. On a bright sunny day in Rochester, it is working outside the Sibley Building.

Ellis said, “Yes, my brother actually got stabbed here two years ago right in front of MCC so it has been less crime.”

The music is always on inside the building, but outside they have had some complaints from nearby residents and businesses. So it only plays on Main and Clinton.

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