The Roop Street project has been going on most of the year, but we’re now finally starting to see some areas near completion. Roop Street between William Street (HWY 50) and Robinson is now open, and the new bike lanes have been striped between William Street and Washington Street. I attended the Regional Transportation Commission recently, and here’s the latest scoop on the project.
Heading north on Roop Street by the library
Like I mentioned, there is new striping on Roop Street in front of the library. Apparently it was supposed to be completed all the way down to Robinson, but the striper didn’t realize this. He’ll be back. If you’ve had the opportunity to ride this section yet, you’ll notice the stripes look a bit fuzzy. There are even areas of the stripes that look powdery. It was mentioned that the striper had the mix off. Part of the paint composition is little reflective beads, and the ratio of beads was way too high. It is hoped that a street sweeper will be able to clean this up.
There are two alterations that are worth mentioning too. Washington Street west bound off of Roop is now One Way. It was opened for a brief time, but even though it is now one lane and painted as one way, it was reported that hundreds of drivers didn’t realize this and tried to merge onto Roop Street. They had to close this section off again until better signs and markers can be installed.
Washington Street Alteration
Also altered is the intersection of Caroline and Roop. There is now curbing installed that prevents east bound turns onto Roop Street off of Caroline. Riders looking to get on northbound Roop from the center of town now need to do so at Robinson Street.
Roop Street north of William Street is paved all the way to Long Street now. There is still much work to do on the sidewalks. And because of the additional property acquisition to make the street wider, there is now a need to install curbing and retaining walls. Some properties now have a two foot drop down to the sidewalk, because the new sidewalks cut into the slope.
Although not complete, riding the widened and striped sections of Roop really give you a feel of how it’s going to feel when completed. It’s great! The road feels really wide now, and it feels like the bicycles and cars now have plenty of room to coexist. It’s going to be fantastic once completed.
We’ve recently posted several project reports for bicycle and pedestrian projects completed in 2009 by Carson City Public Works, NDOT and Parks and Recreation, and others were posted throughout the year. Here is a list with links back to the original posts.
Carson City Public Works also does ongoing sidewalk repair, which includes replacing buckled and deteriorated concrete, and adding ADA ramps. These projects are scattered about town. I don’t think that this ongoing work is keeping up with the rate of deterioration. A lot of sidewalks in Carson City were either constructed with poor quality materials or not cured properly, and they are falling apart. I believe that it ought to be the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to maintain their sidewalks in good repair, however, state law prevents local entities from requiring that owners do so.
In addition, some bicycle lanes were restriped as part of the routine slurry seal and restriping that happens every year.
With completion of the Fairview Drive improvements between Roop St and the new freeway, a signed and marked bike lane has been installed. This section, which had no designation on the 2007 Carson City Bicycle Route Map, can now be designated principal (green) on the next revision. It provides a pleasant and safe connection between the bike lanes on Roop St and on Saliman Rd.
A drain grate was incorrectly installed on Fairview eastbound so that it was a bicycle tire trap hazard, but that was reported to Carson City Public Works and has been fixed. There is a “bike lane ends” sign westbound just west of Saliman which is in error – the bike lane actually ends as it is squeezed out just to the east of Roop St. This squeeze out is unfortunate and unnecessary, as it makes it hard for bicyclists continuing north on the Roop St bike lane (Route 395).
A reconstruction of Curry Street between Koontz Ln on the south and Rhodes St on the north was recently completed. Bicycle lanes and signing were included in this project. With the existing section to the south between Clearview Dr and Koontz Ln, this completes a 1.2 miles of lanes along Curry St. Sidewalks were also installed along this entire section, which formerly had pedestrians walking in the dirt and mud alongside the road.
The section to the north of Rhodes St, from the new construction to Lake Glen Dr, has little to no shoulder and has limited visibility as it curves around the hillside above the Forest Service offices and railroad museum, so it is not comfortable for bicyclists to ride. This section is part of a future project which has not been scheduled. It was delayed due to drainage and right of way concerns, and now due to the reduced funds available for road projects.
This section adds a significant north-south route to Carson City, though one still has to cross back to the east side of Carson St/Hwy 395 at Koontz to access the south part of town. North-south routes are sorely lacking, and this really helps. Muscle Powered and many others have proposed a bicycle crossing over or under the new Hwy 50 freeway to carry this route through to Vista Grande Blvd and the retail areas along Carson St as well as Jacks Valley Rd, but NDOT has resisted all such efforts.
Muscle Powered member Dan Allison has created a bicycle routes wiki for Carson City. This information supplements the Carson City Bicycle Map (see resources page) which was published by Muscle Powered and partners, by providing more detail about the routes and their condition. By identifying places that need improvement, as well as hazards, it will help Carson City enhance its bicycle routes and become a more bicycle friendly city.
The reason for using the wiki format is so that bicyclists in the community can add and correct information. If you would like to contribute, send an email to Dan (allisondan52 at gmail.com) from the email address you’d like to use, and you’ll be added as a user.