RTC OKs downtown design plan

Carson City’s conceptual design for an $8.9 million downtown Carson Street project received the unanimous blessing of the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) Wednesday.

The design — which calls for narrowing the street from four lanes to three, widening sidewalks and including bicycle lanes — still must go through detailed design work next year, but this positive recommendation is part of the public vetting headed into November’s presentation and action on the concept by the city’s Board of Supervisors. The RTC decision came after a staff presentation explaining the broad stroke elements.

“These have been successful in many locations across the country,” Patrick Pittenger, city transportation manager, said of similar projects. But he stressed the conceptual nature of the design. “There are a lot of details to be addressed, yet.”

Community Development Director Lee Plemel said staff made efforts after lengthy planning dating back to 2005 to find middle ground regarding the amount of street parking and traffic flow, along with other aspects.

“We think we’ve come up with a balance on that,” he said, explaining there would be some pull-in street parking without slowing traffic by allowing back-in parallel parking.

Plemel said a presentation also had been made regarding the design on Monday to the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee. He said that panel reviewed the design but took no action.

Donna Inversin, president of the Muscle Powered organization, was the only person to testify at the RTC meeting during the period for public comment. She said the organization’s board had endorsed the design in the belief it would provide safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. She also noted the talk of more details to come, saying bike racks would be part of that.

In other action, the RTC determined that V & C Construction, Inc., was the low bidder for Nye Lane pedestrian improvements at a “not to exceed” amount of $101,294. The project for curb and gutter, driveway and sidewalk work, as well as other elements, will be along Nye Lane from Hot Springs Road to Northgate Lane.

The Carson Area Metropolitan Organization, which handles area transportation issues, met immediately after the RTC. It was given a preview of a safety plan in Dayton aimed at cutting accidents outside Smith’s Supermarket and the shopping center there. It involves no left turns coming out of the center in front of Smith’s, and would require such turns east onto U.S. Highway 50 only from the east or west ends of the center instead.


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