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

Upcoming Meetings

There are three meetings this week (that I know about) that might be of interest to Muscle Powered members and supporters.

Wednesday, December 9 is the regular monthly meeting of the Carson Area Municipal Planning Agency (CAMPO) and Regional Transportation Commission (RTC). The closure of Old Clear Creek Rd will again be on the agenda with informational item G-3.  The following meeting, on Wednesday, January 13, will have considerable impact on bicycle and pedestrian issues. Please put that January date on your calendar, and we’ll tell you more about the agenda items about a week before the meeting.


Wednesday is also a NDOT information meeting on adding a lane to Hwy 395 northbound between Jacks Valley Rd and Old Clear Creek Rd. There are two bike implications here:

  1. By widening, the highway is made even less bike friendly. I think we should ask for an informal bike path (not a multi-use path meeting federal standards) to be constructed on Vista Grande between Jacks Valley Rd and the current end of pavement behind the shopping center, a bit south of Topsy Ln. This would provide an alternate route for people going north-south, and also access to the two shopping centers without using the highway. This Vista Grande Route is shown on the bike map as a “planned principal route”, and is in the Unified Pathways Master Plan as well.
  2. As part of the project, the Lupin Dr – Hwy 395 intersection would be redone. This is the one opposite Old Clear Creek Rd, where the frontage road and Clear Creek Rd come out to the highway. This was previously designed, but I don’t know what it looks like. This intersection is currently the end of the Route 395 bike route, but it need not be since it could cross here to Old Clear Creek Rd, and then on Vista Grande, and then to the path mentioned above. Since NDOT designed this, I’d be willing to bet that they forgot to accommodate bicycles, so now is probably our last chance to get it changed.

There is a meeting announcement at http://www.nevadadot.com/pub_involvement/meetings/displaydocument.asp?MeetingDocument=395TN.htm&ID=496. Of course it doesn’t provide any diagrams or specifications. The meeting will be at Fuji Park/Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 4:00 to 7:00, with a formal presentation at 5:30 and information and discussion the rest of the time. This is an informational meeting, not a hearing, so there probably will not be a chance to talk to the whole group at once, but you can certainly make your views known to the NDOT people and others.


The Carson City Board of Supervisors will be having a special meeting on Thursday, December 10, to hear about the “Nevada’s Working Capital” program for redeveloping the area around the Carson Nugget. Tammy Westergard of Carson City Office of Business Development, and Sara Jones of the Carson City Library, have invited everyone to this meeting. The best way to find out more is to go the website at http://www.nevadasworkingcapital.com/. The meeting will start at 6:00PM in the Sierra Room of the Community Center.

Bike Month Kick-Off Meeting

We plan to have a kick-off meeting for May’s Bike Month this Thursday night at 6:30 PM at The Feisty Goat Pub. This will be the first of several meetings, so If you can’t make it, don’t worry. We’ll try to have them on different days and different places to accommodate everyone.

Hope to see you there!

-Jeff

Bike Month Kick-Off Meeting
Thursday January 29th
6:30PM
The Feisty Goat
1881 E Long St (just past Rand Ave heading East)
Carson City, NV 89706