Fourth Street Corridor
More than 30 cyclists and bicycle lane advocates turned out for an RTC meeting on June 14, which determined the future of bike lanes in the Fourth Street thoroughfare (“Positively Fourth Street,” May 10).
“A lot of people showed up and talked to the RTC,” said Noah Silverman, co-founder and director of the Reno Bike Project. “This caused the RTC to reevaluate and make a new plan based on suggestions from the public.”
“All of the cyclists who came to the meeting gave public comment during the public comment time,” said RBP program manager Jeff Mitchell. “It was cool because there wasn’t a single person there who was against bike lanes. We spoke with a really unified voice.”
RTC director of planning Amy McAbee Cummings agreed. “There was a lot of great public comment. The input was helpful in determining these lanes.”
And it worked. According to Mitchell, bike lanes will be installed “from Keystone, all the way to Vista Boulevard in Sparks, with the exception of a small downtown strip of the corridor.”
“The plan is to install 6.7 miles of new bike lane from Keystone to the east end of Sparks,” said Cummings. “The segment between Evans and Sutro Street is being looked at for other options like a road diet, which reduces four lanes to two.” Other plans include marking it as a green, shared road lane to allow for cyclists to have the right of way. A portion of the road diet is in a school zone.
Currently, RTC is waiting to hear back about the Transportation Investment Grant for Economic Recovery (TIGER). The grant would provide $60 million to adding bike lanes to the corridor, and construction would begin in fall of 2013, according to Mitchell.
The lane decisions were made based off of the results of the Fourth Street/Prater Way Corridor Study conducted by RTC and Wood Rogers, which was released to the public on June 14. Besides breaking the corridor down by district, the study also highlights goals, including “Create safer streets that are more inviting for families, pedestrians, and bicycles … slow traffic down to encourage people to spend time at businesses, events, and restaurants in the corridor … increase and improve street lighting … coordinate on and off-street parking … increase connectivity between Sparks, Reno and the Truckee River … improve bicycle facilities, including bicycle storage … where possible, provide wider sidewalks … create an identity for the entire corridor with coordinated individual themes for Reno and Sparks … incorporate the corridor’s historical significance and the arts in theming and streetscape elements … [and] all travel modes moving smoothly and safely; good lighting, amenities, and cultural and historical landmarks that have been preserved.” View the entire report at http://bit.ly/KN2IjA.
Mitchell, Silverman and other local bike enthusiasts are looking forward to the increase of lanes on Fourth Street.
“It worked out pretty well for us,” said Silverman. “It’s good progress for bikers.”