A Call to Action

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Dear Muscle Powered,

Over the next couple of days, there are two items of interest to local bicyclists that will be considered at public meetings. The people who serve us need to know what we want so they can be effective in carrying out their jobs. We need your support to make public comment on the following issues.


South Carson Complete Streets Project

At the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) meeting on Wednesday (approximately 5 pm in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center), Public Works will present the 90% design completion for the South Carson Complete Streets project. The roundabout included in the project presents some concerns, and we need your voice there to make public comment.

The design has a dedicated northbound travel lane for vehicles that peels off to Stewart St making it very hard for cyclists to enter the roundabout. Northbound cyclists approaching the roundabout have to leave the protected multi-use path and cross the dedicated traffic lane to get to the roundabout. We would like to see the elimination of the dedicated lane for a right turn on to Stewart St, and instead have all vehicles enter the roundabout. This configuration mirrors the southbound approach lanes which have sharper curves and thus encourage lower rates of vehicular speed. Additionally, northbound cyclists would not have to cross a traffic lane and could enter the roundabout in a much more safe manner. The consultant firm (Kimley Horn) is designing the roundabout and feels the dedicated lane will make vehicles flow more smoothly on to Stewart St. In reality, this will increase the automobiles’ rate of speed and most cyclists will end up going to the end of the multi-use path and then be forced to dismount to use the crosswalk.


Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator Position

On Thursday, in the same location, the Board of Supervisors is meeting and there is an item of concern on the agenda. Public Works is proposing the elimination of the dedicated Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator position. Currently, Public Works intends to change the position to a Traffic Planner/Analyst. Instead of taking a step backward and reducing the effectiveness of the bike/ped program, we would like to see Carson City continue to grow as a bicycle-friendly community with a dedicated Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator. Having that position within Public Works gives cyclists and pedestrians a voice at the table when engineers are designing Carson City streets with only automobiles in mind.

It’s hard to tell exactly what time the agenda item will be discussed, but the best guess is approximately 10 am.

Staff Summary: Staff is requesting approval to eliminate the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator (P1) position and to create a new Transportation Planner/Analyst position (P2). This position is grant funded with Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funds for the Safe Routes to School Program. NDOT has confirmed this change will not jeopardize the grant funding, and the salary increase can be supported by the available grant funding.  


Thanks for helping us to make Carson City a more walkable and bikeable place to live.


Sincerely,

Randy Gaa
President, Muscle Powered


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