Fairview Dr widening

bike lane on Fairview westbound

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).

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Curry St reconstruction

bike lane, Curry southbound at Rhodes

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.

New sidewalks for Empire

New Entrance Sidewalk
New entrance sidewalk and crosswalk

Note: This entry was previously posted on the SRTS blog, but that blog is being phased out, and I thought this would be of interest to Muscle Powered people as well.

The sidewalk work around Empire Elementary is complete. The work was contracted by Carson City Public Works, and completed by Garcia Construction, with most of the funding from a Community Development Block Grant. This grant was specifically awarded because it targeted a low income neighborhood and school. Though the Safe Routes to School program certainly encouraged this project, credit goes to the city and particularly Patrick Pittenger.

Sidewalks were added along the north side of Stanton St all the way from Fairview to the school, and new walkway into the school was constructed, ADA ramps were placed at many corners on Stanton St, Monte Rosa St, Gordonia St, Siskiyou St, and Douglas St. Crosswalks have also been repainted in much of the neighborhood, particularly the ones students use on their way to and from school. Not only does this project make is easier and safer for students to walk to school, it gives a nice feeling to the whole neighborhood.

New Sidewalk Along Stanton Dr
New sidewalk along the north side of Stanton Dr

Old Clear Creek Rd bike lane

Bike Lane on Old Clear Creek Rd

As part of a recent project to reconstruct part of Old Clear Creek Rd and enhance Fuji Park, there is now a bike lane on the south side of Old Clear Creek Rd between Carson St/Hwy 395 and Vista Grande Blvd. There was already a bike lane on the north side of Old Clear Creek. Along the boundary of Fuji Park and the Carson City Fairgrounds, diagonal parking and a bus pullout lane were added, along with landscaping of rock, trees, and shrubs. Wide, inviting sidewalks were also installed.

This section of road, shown on the Carson City Bicycle Route Map as alternate (yellow) could now be upgraded to principal (green). Though it has not yet been designated or signed, this section is a logical continuation of Bicycle Route 395 which now ends just before it reaches Carson St/Hwy 395 at the signal intersection on Lupin Dr. There are plans for a bike route southward along Vista Grande Blvd to connect with Jacks Valley Rd, but it was assumed that this would be completed as part of the development the retail area which has ceased for now.

Clear Sidewalks

It has been a hard week of bicycling commuting for me. The winter snow and ice have made my trips slow going, doubling the time it takes to make my simple two mile journey. Before the storms hit, my backup plan was to simply walk to work if the conditions got too bad. But after traveling the roads for a week, it became apparent that walking may be even tougher. Very few sidewalks had been cleared, offering pedestrians only the option of walking out in the street with the cars. Muscle Powered’s Dan Allison recently wrote a letter to the editor discussing just this issue.

Morning Commute
Shovel those sidewalks!

Clear sidewalks for City’s School Children
by Dan Allison (originally published in the Nevada Appeal)

Our recent snowfall, the biggest since January 2005, has left our sidewalks deep in snow. Many people have cleared their sidewalks already, and those who did so Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning, and had direct sunlight on Tuesday, have clear and dry sidewalks.

Many students walk to school in the snow, some because they chose to, and others because their families have no other transportation options. An uncleared sidewalk is a great hazard to these students, whether they are walking on the snow or are forced into the street.

On behalf of all students in Carson City, I’d like to thank those homeowners, apartment managers and business owners who promptly clear their sidewalks after a storm. Whether on their way to school or the bus stop, these students will be safer because of your effort.

It may be that the city’s snow removal policy, which accepts that sidewalks will be blocked, has not changed, but in actual practice, the city’s snowplow drivers have been much more careful about not throwing snow onto sidewalks this time around.

Drivers, please keep in mind that children and adults will be forced into walking on the edges of the streets until sidewalks are cleared or melt off. Please slow down and give them a wide berth — they are our most vulnerable users and are doing the best they can getting where they need to go.

Dan Allison
Safe Routes to School Coordinator