“Imagine getting out of your car and joining the world again.”
Anne Macquarie, board member and founder of Muscle Powered, penned a great opinion piece for the Nevada Appeal today on Narrowing Carson Street. She points out the numerous benefits that could come from the narrowing, not the least of which is a Carson Street that pedestrians feel comfortable crossing. The struggle to revision Carson Street will happen before the Board of Supervisors, the Redevelopment Authority, and the Regional Transportation Commission, but it will also play out in the pages of the Nevada Appeal. There have been several letters recently objecting to narrowing, and in favor of “the way things used to be” (though of course they never were) and for a continued dominance by cars. If you feel that the narrowing is valuable, please consider a letter to the editor saying so and providing your personal experiences and dreams.
On Sunday, September 5, 2010, the Nevada Appeal ran an article entitled “Main Street makeover: Business owners divided over Carson Street plan.” The article laid out the general vision of what might happen to Carson Street now that some of the traffic has been diverted to the freeway and parallel streets have been or will be improved. It provided viewpoints pro from downtown business owners and con from other business owners and individuals. Some of the same con viewpoints were expressed at the last Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting.
I’d like to reply to the article, and to the opposition, with my thoughts.
The terms “narrowing” and “road diet” do not capture what Carson City transportation advocates would like to see on Carson Street. The term “complete streets” does. The National Complete Streets Coalition says:
“The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams.
Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to complete the streets. States, cities and towns are asking their planners and engineers to build road networks that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone.”