Anne on Narrowing Carson Street

“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.

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Whither Carson Street?

Vision of Carson St at Telegraph St (from Carson City Planning)

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.”

Continue reading “Whither Carson Street?”

Recent Meetings and Happenings

Here’s a look at some of the recent meetings and happenings.

A couple weeks ago, a few of us from Muscle Powered attended the Carson Valley Trails Association Annual Meeting. I was expecting a dozen people in a conference room, but when we arrived, we entered a packed gazebo with 100 people or more! We were on time, but did not even get a seat. The CVTA had an impressive display of all the trail work they’ve done on Carson Valley’s west side, notably the Jobs Peak Ranch and Fay Luther Canyon trail network. Having lived in the Carson Valley for over a decade, I am grateful for all the work they’ve done. Before these trails came along, it was next to impossible to gain access to the mountains without sneaking through barbed wire and no trespassing signs.

Carson Valley Trails Association Meeting
The Jeff’s with Kerstin, President of the CVTA

It was refreshing to see how much support this organization is receiving in the form of volunteer trail work, and tens of thousands of dollars in donations and grant money! We left the meeting inspired, and talked all the way home about how we could bring some of the CVTA’s ideas and energy to Carson City’s west side. We envision a sustainable, protected, multi-use trail system that spans Kings Canyon, Ash Canyon, Vicee Canyon, and Combs Canyon.

Interesting fact: CVTA volunteers pick up 100lbs of dog poop off the trail network per week! Anyone who has been to “Pooh Corner” in Ash Canyon knows how fast this stuff piles up.

At the Feisty Goat
Bike Month Kick-Off Meeting the Feisty Goat Pub

Last Thursday was the kick-off meeting for May’s Bike Month. Six of us showed up at the Feisty Goat Pub for a beer and brainstorming session. We came up with a lot of good ideas, and plan to have another meeting soon. Hopefully next time we’ll pick up the many people that expressed interest, but missed this first meeting. Check the Calendar Tab at the top for upcoming meetings and events.

Briefly
Bike Carson in the Nevada Appeal

If you read the Nevada Appeal, you may have noticed Bike Carson in the Recreation section. For the past few weeks, a snippet from one of the posts here has appeared in the paper. This has been a great way to reach more people, and I’m starting to get feedback from people that don’t normally read the blog. It does make me a little nervous though, because I’m always afraid I’m going to sound stupid outside the little world of this blog.