Show your support for Bicycle and Pedestrian project on Fifth Street

A message from Patrick Pittenger, Transportation Manager, Carson City Public Works.

Carson City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advocates-

I am contacting you to request your support this week for a bicycle and pedestrian project in Carson City.

The City entered an agreement with the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to use Federal Enhancement funds to construct bike lanes and sidewalk on E. Fifth Street from east of Saliman Road to the E. Fifth Street freeway overpass. We received notice to proceed for design and submitted 90% plans this week. Unfortunately, NDOT used the Enhancement funds that were supposed to be for this project (and others in the state) for their own projects and transferred the funds to other programs, and now, as we’re almost ready to go to construction, there is no funding left for construction. Working with NDOT staff, we determined that there is about $1.5 in unobligated Safe Routes to School funds still available, and NDOT agreed to schedule a special meeting of the Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Board on February 28 to ask the Board to approve using those funds for three projects – the Carson City project and one each in Washoe and Clark Counties.

Fifth Street
5th Street looking east towards the overpass

I just learned that NDOT staff has decided to present a total of six projects to the Board on February 28th to decide which of those will receive the available funds. I am asking you to attend the meeting on February 28th at 8:30 am here in Carson City to help support funding the project.

When:
8:30 AM, February 28th, 2013

Meeting Location:
NV Department of Transportation
King St. Facility
3rd Floor, Conf. Room
400 W. King St.
Carson City, NV

Download Meeting Agenda

The argument I will make – which I hope you will support – is as follows: The E. Fifth Street project should be selected because it meets the Safe Routes to School requirements of being located within two miles of multiple K-8 school facilities, and has many other factors in its favor. While high school students were not the target of the Safe Routes program, they too would benefit from this project. In fact, the entire community would benefit from this project because it serves to connect existing and planned facilities. While it would be possible to locate a project that is located in closer proximity to a K-8 school, this project should be funded because selecting, designing, and constructing a different project at this point would take years, whereas this project could be implemented this year. Additionally, Carson City has demonstrated a dedication to funding projects that would have otherwise been Safe Routes to School projects with other funds. Specific examples include using HUD/CDBG funds of over $400,000 around Empire Elementary School, using about $500,000 in Enhancement funds on Roop Street to provide a connection between a low-income neighborhood and Mark Twain Elementary School which serves it, and using city (non-grant) funds on streets like Thompson Street near Bordewich-Bray Elementary School (among other projects). We have clearly demonstrated our commitment to the intent of the Safe Routes to School Program by implementing projects – and not just with Safe Routes funds.

The E. Fifth Street Project is the only project in Carson City or the greater Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) area to be before the Board on the 28th. It is also the smallest project financially among those to be considered at $225,000. Funding the project with these replacement funds still leaves sufficient money available to funds larger projects in both Clark and Washoe Counties. Finally, unlike other urban areas of the state, there are many fewer options available to Carson City to pursue to fund this project.

Fifth Street
5th Street looking west towards Saliman Road

I appreciate your support, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your support.

Patrick Pittenger, AICP, PTP
Transportation Manager
Carson City Public Works
3505 Butti Way
Carson City, NV 89701
ppittenger@carson.org
(p) 775-283-7396
(f) 775-887-2112

New Bike Rack at Curry and Proctor Streets

With the great restaurants, brewery, and almost nightly entertainment downtown, bicycle parking is in high demand along Curry Street. It’s not uncommon to see bikes locked to lamp posts, trash cans, and anything else solid people can find. To help alleviate the bike parking problem, Muscle Powered has installed a bike rack at Curry and Proctor Streets.

Muscle Powered Rack at Curry and Proctor Streets
Shawne Martinez prepares to install the bike rack

This rack had been previously installed on the other side of town, but sadly, the restaurant went out of business. Shawne Martinez lent Muscle Powered his expertise, and got the rack relocated for us.  This rack will accommodate at least a couple bikes on each side, while still leaving plenty of room for sidewalk users.

Muscle Powered Rack at Curry and Proctor Streets
Rack installed and ready for use

Muscle Powered has had requests for more bike racks around town, but all of the Muscle Powered racks are now in use. These racks were made locally several years ago, but due to their design, were quite expensive. There are similar designs available from national vendors that even have the option to include a company logo. But while the cost of the racks may be cheaper, shipping charges would drive the costs back up.

Muscle Powered
New bike rack throws a great evening shadow

One option may be to change the design of the racks, so that they can be made locally for cheaper. Another benefit of this option would be that we could better match a rack with it’s planned location and expected capacity. A simple inverted U-shaped rack may be all that is needed at some locations, while a rack that locks six bikes may work better somewhere else. Whatever decision is made, the racks would be modern, both in design and proper placement. The old style racks placed up against a wall that only hold a front wheel just aren’t adequate in most situations.

What do you think? What’s most important to you? Is there a rack shape that works best for you? Is style important, or would you just like to see more racks regardless of the design? Where in Carson City would you like to see a bike rack?

Roop Street Bicycle and Pedestrian Project to Begin

Construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities is about to begin on Roop Street between Winnie Lane and Northridge Drive! Although short, this stretch of road is currently one of the more dangerous areas in town for cyclists and pedestrians. Safe and well used bicycle facilities exist on either side of Lone Mountain, but cyclists must brave fast traffic and a crumbling shoulder if they wish to connect the two areas. And although pedestrians are instructed not to use this route, no other reasonable routes exist nearby. It’s not uncommon to see a baby stroller being pushed through the dirt and gravel on the side of the road to get over the hill to the shopping center.

NOT a complete Street
Roop Street over Lone Mountain in 2009

Here are the details from Carson Now about the project:

Work is expected to begin August 27 on a Carson CIty project to provide bicycle and pedestrian improvements on North Roop Street from Winnie Lane to Northridge Drive. The Carson City Regional Transportation Commission has awarded a contract which will connect existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Carson City, according to a news release. Roop Street between Winnie Lane and Northridge Drive currently does not have a sidewalk or bike lanes, and people often try to use a narrow strip of concrete against a wall to travel this section of road. After the project is completed this fall, there will be bike lanes on both sides of the road and sidewalk connections to existing sidewalks on North Roop Street and Northridge Drive.

There has been widespread support from the City’s bicycling and walking community and from school district representatives. City representatives are very pleased that this project is being implemented. “We’re happy to implement a project which connects other existing facilities and will provide for safety improvements” said Patrick Pittenger, Transportation Manager in the Carson City Public Works Department.

The project is being funded primarily by a Federal grant acquired by City staff through the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). This project is one of several bicycle and pedestrian projects recently funded through grants overseen by NDOT. “The Nevada Department of Transportation is pleased to work with our local partners to implement a project with funds secured by the State” said Tracy Larkin-Thomason, Assistant Director of Planning for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The road is expected to remain open to traffic except for a one-week period planned for early October. Motorists are thanked for their patience and safe driving in the work zone.

For additional information, please contact Patrick Pittenger at (775) 283-7396.

When completed, Roop Street over Lone Mountain will safely connect neighborhoods and businesses on both sides of the hill. It will also further complete the longest, continuous north-south bicycle route in Carson City, stretching from Emerson Drive on the north to Silver Sage near the county line on the south. It has been a long time coming, and we can’t wait!

Rush to Washoe Walk and Bike Ride

$400 Million Dollars have been spent, and soon you will have a nice new bridge to walk or ride your bicycle across. But only for a few hours, so listen up!

Rush to Washoe! Run, Walk, or Bike the New I-580 Freeway. The public is invited to join the Nevada Department of Transportation in celebrating the soon to open I-580 Freeway, Saturday, July 28, 2012. Activities start at 7 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. with the opportunity to bike, walk, or run along the freeway, including the Galena Creek Bridge – the longest concrete cathedral arch bridge in the nation.

I580_2012JulyPublicEvent-page-001

The event will include informational displays at various locations along the freeway describing many design features as well as an opportunity for an up close look at some of the heavy equipment used during construction.

Bicyclists riding from Carson City and the Washoe Valley will have access to the freeway in the area of the new Bowers Mansion Interchange – signs will be posted and volunteers available to assist in directing bicycle traffic entering from the south end of the new freeway. Pedestrians will not be allowed onto the alignment from the south end – pedestrians must access via the Mt. Rose Highway.

Schedule of events:

  • 7:00 AM: Start of bicycle ride from the Mt. Rose Interchange to the Bowers Mansion Interchange (roundtrip)
  • 7:30 AM: 5K/10K “Fun Run”
  • 8:00 AM: Booths open and freeway open to general event traffic
  • 1:00 PM: Vehicle and pedestrian access areas at the north end of the freeway will be closed to incoming traffic.  Event areas close and remaining vehicle traffic will be directed to exit the freeway via the Bowers Mansion Interchange.

The $400 million project involves constructing nine bridges and an eight-and-a-half-mile freeway from the Mount Rose Highway in Reno to the north end of Washoe Valley.

Galena Creek Bridge - Photo from Wikipedia

The freeway will officially open to traffic in late July or early August. I don’t believe bikes will be allowed on this stretch of freeway, but the good news is that when much of the auto traffic is diverted to the new freeway, riding your bike through Pleasant Valley on the old road will be…well, pleasant!

More details (including entering by bike on the Reno side), rules, and safety tips for this event can be found here: http://www.freewayextension.com/I-580_2012JulyEvent_Details.pdf

Thank You Bike to Work Week Sponsors

Muscle Powered would like to thank our 2012 Carson City Bike to Work Week sponsors for their support! Generous donations by our sponsors helped us put on successful events, gave incentives to the challengers, and helped Muscle Powered raise money for future projects in Carson City.

Bike to Work Day
Bike to Work Day at Comma Coffee

With your help we set new records this year. All teams participating in this year’s Corporate Challenge here in Carson City collectively rode or walked 6,132 miles, and made 1,646 trips by bicycle or on foot! This all translates to less traffic congestion, safer streets, less air and noise pollution, healthier citizens, and also helps to demonstrate that a lot of people doing little things can make a big difference.   For a complete breakdown and statistics of the challenge, read this post.

2012 Carson City Bike to Work Week Sponsors

Please visit these fine local businesses that support a bicycle friendly community!

Flat Tire Repair Clinic at the Bike Smith

So you’re out on your bike, 15 miles away from home, and you get a flat. No problem! Just grab your spare tube, your pump, and… What’s that? You don’t know how to fix a flat tire?

Bike Smith Flat Tire Repair Clinc
Learn how to repair your own flat tires at the Bike Smith

A flat tire is the most common problem that WILL happen on your bike. Thankfully they’re pretty easy to repair with a little know-how. You can ride pretty far in a short amount of time on your bike, and having the skill to fix a flat will keep you from walking a long way back home.  The Bike Smith is once again offering their popular Flat Tire Repair Clinic on Tuesday, May 22nd at 6:00PM. They will go over wheel removal, inspecting the tire for damage and sharp objects, and replacing the tube. Other topics may come up as time allows.

What: Flat Tire Repair Clinic
When: Tuesday, May 22nd at 6:00PM.
Where: The Bike Smith, 900 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701
More info: (775) 883-3210

Carson City Family Bike Festival

The first annual Carson City Family Bike Festival, co-sponsored by Muscle Powered with Carson City Health and Human Services and Carson City Parks and Recreation, will be held on Sunday, May 20th, from 1-4 pm at Riverview Park.

Put Your Best Foot Forward
Riding at Riverview Park

In addition to the bike ride, Muscle Powered will be doing FREE bicycle safety inspections. Riverview Park is located at the east end of 5th Street out by the Carson River. Trails are hard packed dirt, suitable for all but the skinniest tires.

Free Coffee on Bike to Work Day

On Friday, May 18th, from the hours of 7am – 8:30am, Comma Coffee is offering one complementary cup of coffee to individuals who are commuting to work by bicycle. Keep an eye out for the special Muscle Powered scones to go with your coffee! Comma Coffee is located at 312 S Carson Street.

Comma Coffee
Inside Comma Coffee 

Also, though not a part of Bike to Work Day, Dutch Bros is offering all coffee drinks for $1 as part of their 5th anniversary celebration.

Bike to Work Week Party at the Firkin and Fox

It’s great to see the bicycle miles and trips rack up from our Corporate Challengers! If you haven’t been keeping track, go check out the previous posts to see the daily totals. We’re going to have a big party at the Firkin and Fox on Friday night the 18th to celebrate everyone’s hard work this week. In addition to announcing the winners of the Corporate Challenge, we’re going to have live music from Notch 8, and a raffle with prizes you don’t want to miss out on. Money collected from the raffle goes to benefit Muscle Powered, Citizens for a Walkable and Bikeable Carson City.

Bike to Work Week Party
Last year’s winners of the woman’s cruiser

The Bicycle Authority helped us with the grand prizes again this year, two Custom Beach Cruisers from Phat Cycles! These two bikes are the nicest we’ve given away yet, a little more custom than last year’s. We traditionally give the bikes away before it gets too dark, giving people without lights the opportunity to ride home safely.

Raffle Bikes
Women’s Cruiser

Raffle Bikes
Men’s Cruiser

In addition to the bikes from Bicycle Authority, there are plenty of other fantastic prizes to give away, all donated by our other Bike to Work Week Sponsors! And yes, you MUST be present to win. This year’s sponsors are:

  • Adele’s
  • Bicycle Authority
  • Bike Carson/Tahoe
  • Bike Habitat
  • Bike Smith
  • Capitol Automotive
  • Comma Coffee (Free morning coffee for bicycle commuters)
  • Cracker Box
  • Firkin and Fox
  • High Sierra Brewery
  • Muscle Powered
  • Red Bike Cycling
  • Sassafras
  • The Tap Shack

Notch 8 will entertain the crowd between the raffle items, and there will be drinks available outside during the party. Food will be available inside at the restaurant.

Notch 8
Notch 8 to perform at the party

Details:

What: Bike to Work Week Party 2012
Where: Firkin and Fox, 310 S. Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701
When: Friday, May 18th @ 5:30 PM.
Other: The party is outside in the back of the restaurant. Plenty of bike parking in view of the party.
Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/378436315525125/

West Side Cruiser Ride 2012

It’s almost time for Muscle Powered’s annual Bike to Work Week cruiser ride! This Wednesday, May 16th, bring the whole family down to Telegraph Square for a slow-paced fun ride around the quiet streets of Carson City’s west side. Sign-in for the ride at 6:15pm, ride starts around 6:30pm.

West Side Cruiser Ride
Wear your costume! Decorate your bike!

Last year we had a few riders show up in costumes and it was a lot of fun. So this year, we are strongly encouraging EVERYONE to wear a costume for the ride and/or decorate their bike.

West Carson Cruiser Ride
Join the parade!

Don’t have a cruiser? No worries. Any bike will do. Cruiser rides are all about riding slow, enjoying the scenery, and socializing.

West Side Cruiser Ride
Easy pedal through Carson’s quiet west side

When: Wednesday, May 16th, 6:15PM
Where: Telegraph Square (Corner of Telegraph and Curry Streets)
What: Easy 4-5 mile pedal around Carson’s West side.
Kid Friendly: Yes! Kids are encouraged.
Do: Wear your costumes and decorate your bikes.  Wear your helmet.
Don’t: Miss out on this fun event!