Final draft plans for downtown Carson Street will include a bit of street parking, wider sidewalks, bike lanes and no medians, according to City Manager Nick Marano.
He said there was one more conference call to put finishing touches on conceptual designs that will go to Carson City residents for input at the Carson City Community Center Tuesday, but the plans include perhaps two or three parking slots per block from 5th Street on the south to William Street on the north.
“All the medians come out,” Marano said, leaving room for three traffic lanes and other features that include bicycles, sidewalks that will be 12 feet wide where there’s parking and 20 feet wide where there isn’t, along with landscaping features. The middle lane is to accommodate vehicles turning.
The concept, Marano said during a wide-ranging Wednesday interview, envisions the few parking spots will be sufficiently large for easy pull-in access, which keeps traffic flowing, and yet the parked vehicles will form a partial barrier between car/bike traffic and people using the ample sidewalk space.
“This will very much be a bicycle-friendly community,” Marano said, though he was clear city government wants input from the public before the plans go to the Board of Supervisors for final consideration. His own buy-in for the conceptual design now being forged, however, seemed clear in remarks he made about what that combination can mean if it becomes reality.
He said pedestrian and bike friendly features build on the 2006 vision for downtown, which got derailed because money grew tight during the recession. He said the pedestrian and bike friendly features can help lure people to the community’s core.
He said, for example, the Carson City Visitor’s Bureau can tout bicycle amenities both in the city’s open space for mountain bikers and in the downtown for street bike activity.
Marano said the 2006 plan provided an underpinning and direction, but it was still important to come up with a particular final draft so the community can see what it’s getting. “I felt we needed to come up with a plan,” he said.
The design will be shown and explained to residents in the Sierra Room at the Community Center, 851 E. William St., in 90 minute sessions at Noon and after the workday at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Marano said he understands some in the community have opposed narrowing Carson Street downtown from four lanes to include such pedestrian and bike friendly features, but he sounded confident this latest version would garner sufficient support to pass muster with the Board of Supervisors.