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

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

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!

Bike Movie Night at Capitol Automotive

Saturday May 12th at 5:30PM is Bike To Work Week Movie Night hosted by Capitol Automotive! Ride your bikes down at 5:30 pm for FREE pizza and beverages, and enjoy two fun bicycle themed movies. Marcus does a great job at converting his garage into a little theater, and there is plenty of secure bike parking within view of the seating.

Bike Movie Night
Marcus at the controls of his state of the art bike-in theater

Where: Capitol Automotive, 1000 N Plaza Street
When: May 12th, 5:30PM

Bicycle Maintenance Class at Bike Habitat

The Bike Habitat will be giving a free class this Wednesday the 9th at 6PM. The topic of the class is “Home Maintenance for your Bicycle”. Learn how to keep your bike running safely and efficiently between bike shop tune ups. This clinic will cover both MTN and Road Bikes.

BHabBBlogo

This FREE clinic covers:

  • Safety Inspection
  • Brake alignment and adjustment
  • Front & Rear Derailleur Adjustment
  • Headset adjustment
  • Flat repair

Where: Bike Habitat – 911 Topsy Ln. #238, Carson City, NV 89705
When: Wednesday, May 9th @ 6:00PM
Phone: 775.267.5053

Ash Canyon to Kings Canyon Trail

Carson officials, volunteers carving trail system in mountains west of city
By Teri Vance (Story originally appearing in the Nevada Appeal)

In the super-abridged version of the story, Jeff Potter complained to city supervisors in 2006 that more mountain bike trails were needed in the area.

Their response: Then do it.

Carson City

Of course, it wasn’t that simple. There was the master plan to consult. Permits needed to be acquired. Plans needed to be drawn up.

But after years of working with Carson City’s open-space manager, Juan Guzman, to negotiate with city, state and federal agencies as well as private property owners, the plan is starting to take shape.

Max Jones, who owns Spooner Lake Cross Country and Flume Trail Mountain Bikes, lent his expertise to determining three routes connecting Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon.

Potter said they settled on the mid-line route, traversing seven miles along the east-facing slopes of the mountains. It begins around 5,600 feet and climbs 1,100 feet to the highest point of 6,700 feet. The average grade is 6 percent.

Potter said it was an easy decision.

“If this was the only trail I could put in, it would be a killer trail,” he said. “Plus, we had fewer obstacles with this option.”

He said the gradual ascents with some steep climbs will make the trail a challenge for the experienced mountain biker while still being accessible to the novice.

“This is for everybody,” Potter said. “All skill levels.”

The trail also will be open for other non-motorized use, like hikers and equestrians.

While there are some trails now in the hills of east Carson City, they are what’s known as non-system trails. They don’t connect in a meaningful way and may not have the proper permits.

The trail, with access points in Kings Canyon and Ash Canyon, will make sense to users, Guzman said.

“It’s from a very well-known point to another well-known point,” he said.

It also could draw other outdoor enthusiasts to the area, Guzman said.

“This is the kind of thing that people will drive thousands of miles to come and experience,” he said. “We have a hidden spot here. People do not realize what a unique place this is. The Sierra Nevada is just spectacular.”

Potter said while users will be able to begin at either point, he imagines most will prefer to begin from the Kings Canyon side and climb about 2.5 miles to the highest point.

Once there, they’ll be on an outcropping with views of the entire city, along with Job’s Peak, the Sweetwater Range and Washoe Lake.

From there, it will a 5.5-mile descent into Ash Canyon. Along the way, there will be other overlooks for users to take in the view.

Work on the trail is expected to begin in the spring and could take up to five years to be fully complete.

Guzman said he appreciates the dedication and expertise of volunteers like Potter.

“This is the perfect use of our lands,” he said. “This corner of Nevada is just fantastic.”

Upcoming Trail Work Days

Here is some information on upcoming trail work days in our area sent to me by The Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association:

Saturday, November 12 - TAMBA Trail day with Carson Valley Trails Association.

We started the season here with the IMBA Trail Care Crew visit in April. CVTA has been busy all summer working on the Sierra Canyon Trail with trail machines putting in around 13 miles of new trail. Now they are trying to finish the last half mile section by hand. Let’s head down there and help them out!! Meet at the end of Carson Street (2 blocks south of the 4-way intersection) in Genoa at 9am. Bring your own lunch, we’ll be eating on the trail, about a 15 minute hike in. For those that stay till the end, TAMBA will buy the first round at the oldest bar in Nevada, walking distance from the trailhead! Wearing layers would be good and typical safety items like safety glasses/sunglasses and gloves. We’ll have the hardhats. More info on TAMBA website: http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

Lower Sierra Canyon Work Day
Lower Sierra Canyon Work Day – Photo courtesy of CVTA

This is the plan from CTVA on the rest of the season:

Starting this Saturday November 12, we will have trail building opportunities every day through November 20th from 8 a.m to 3 p.m. each day at the end of Carson Street in Genoa. The project site is a 15 minute walk from the trailhead. There is work in the sun or shade depending how cold it is. Wear layers, some days will be chilly and if you’d rather come a bit later in the morning, go for it.

We have built about about 1,000 feet of trail over the past 8 work days, some of the most challenging you may ever build, thank you. We have about 2,300 challenging feet left to go to connect and open the final ~8.1 mile Genoa Loop.

Important:

  • Required work wear is long pants, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses or other eye protection…very important, good hiking shoes and work gloves.
  • Bring lunch and water.
  • Tools and hard hats are provided.
  • Check the CVTA website for cancellations if the weather is questionable.

CVTA needs your help to finish trails

From Carson Valley Trails Association (http://www.carsonvalleytrails.org/)

This is an urgent call for help building trail up Sierra and Genoa Canyons (up to the Tahoe Rim Trail) to all mountain bikers.

Background: The CVTA is dedicated to providing access and developing trail in the Carson Valley for all users (hikers, bikers, and equestrians). Under a matching state grant program, the CVTA was able to build a significant new trail network from Eagle Ridge (N of Genoa) to Genoa Canyon and up Sierra Canyon to the TRT (near Genoa Peak) this summer. The mountain bike possibilities on this trail are tremendous including loops and downhill runs starting from the TRT between Daggett and Spooner Summits.

Construction on the Genoa Foothill Trail System

What is needed: CVTA is in desperate need of volunteers to help build trail (at this point mostly trail cleanup). Hours are needed to comply with the matching portion of the state grant. The deadline to provide matching volunteer hours is the end of calendar year 2011. If bikers are going to be users of this trail it is only fair that they pitch in to help build and maintain the trail.

What you can do: Trail building dates are posted on the CVTA web site: http://www.carsonvalleytrails.org/Programs-Calendar.html

All tools are provided and NO experience is necessary. We need all cycling groups to post this message to their members. Help is needed urgently as future trail development is contingent of the success of this major initiative.

Please pick a date and show up. If you enjoy the trails you should realize that they are only exist because of the hard work of many volunteers. Won’t you be one of them?

CVTA invites you to “Build for Bill”

Saturday, October 22, 2011
8am to 3pm
Genoa Canyon (located at the end of Carson St in Genoa)

Come to Genoa Canyon and “Build for Bill” on Saturday, October 22. Every hour of trail building that you donate will be an hour of support for Bill Hay, CVTA president, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer, which prevents him from doing the trailbuilding he loves. For more information on how you can help, see the “Build for Bill” flyer (.pdf).

Nevada Legislature Passes Two Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Bills

The Nevada Vulnerable  Highway Users Law and  3-Foot Passing Law will improve conditions for bicycling and walking in the Silver State

 Nevada’s pedestrian fatality rate is almost twice the US average.  Between 2000 and 2009 541 people were killed while walking in Nevada – this makes the state the eighth most dangerous in the nation for walking, according to Transportation for America’s 2011 “Dangerous by Design” report.  Conditions are also hazardous for bicyclists. Urban streets and rural roads with high speed limits, a discontinuous bicycle and pedestrian transportation system, and  careless drivers in a car-oriented culture make for dangerous conditions.

But Nevada also has a growing and active community of bicycle and pedestrian advocates who got together in the 2011 legislative session to work with legislators on two bills to improve cycling and walking conditions in the state.

Muscle Powered, a grassroots citizens organization advocating for better bicycling and walking conditions in Nevada’s capital city, decided last year to make the passage of a Vulnerable Users Law a priority for the Nevada 2011 legislative session.  The bill was modeled on Oregon’s law, which defines vulnerable users and describes additional penalties for careless driving when vulnerable users are affected.

Assemblywoman Teresa  Benitez Thompson  agreed to sponsor the bill.  Benitez Thompson’s district  – Reno’s “old southwest” neighborhood  – is home to many who commute by bicycle from their homes in her district to the University of Nevada and downtown offices and casinos. She saw the bill as directly affecting the wellbeing of her constituents. A coalition of advocates from Muscle Powered, the Nevada Bicycle Coalition, UNLV’s Safe Community Partnership, the Alta Alpina Cycling Club and others worked closely with Benitez Thompson in drafting the bill and providing testimony in committee hearings.

The Nevada Vulnerable Highway Users bill passed both houses unanimously and was signed by Governor Sandoval on June 13. The bill amends Nevada’s reckless driving laws to provide that a person who strikes a pedestrian or person who is riding a bicycle has committed reckless driving, and provides penalties from $250 up to $2,000 and driver’s license revocation.

Meanwhile,  in the Nevada Senate, Senators David Parks and John Lee were joined by Assemblyman Elliott  Anderson  and  nine other state senators in introducing a “3-Foot Passing” Law that requires drivers to change lanes, if there is an additional lane, or leave at least three feet of room while passing bicyclists.  This bill also passed both houses easily, and was signed by the governor on May 19.

Muscle Powered’s Kelly Clark, who headed the team that worked on the Vulnerable Users law, initiated it with the idea of making the streets safer. “It seems like the environment on the streets has been getting more angry, not less. This law is really just the beginning. It basically says striking a pedestrian or cyclist can be grounds for reckless driving and losing your license. There is still a lot of work to do: educating the public; getting cyclists to report incidents; getting law enforcement to take accidents seriously. This legislation is a small step, but it is a start.”