Road rules

Bill intended to create safer streets

Scott Hall is an active cyclist who supports complete streets in our community.

Scott Hall is an active cyclist who supports complete streets in our community.


For more information, visit

Reno still has a ways to go before it’s considered as bicycle-friendly as a city like Portland, but new legislation may help bring the city closer to that end.

Assembly Bill 145 will provide funding for streets that motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians can use together when it becomes law.

AB 145, also called the Complete Streets legislation, passed through the Assembly unanimously on May 28 and through the Senate unanimously on June 2. It is currently awaiting the governor’s signature to become law, which is not anticipated to be an issue, according to Nevada Conservation League policy director Kyle Davis, whose group lobbied for the bill.

“It’s helpful that there wasn’t anyone opposed to the bill [who spoke out in the Legislature], but I think in Sparks and Washoe County these are projects that are popular,” Davis said. “There are programs that have been implemented and have been successful. This is a way to get funding for them.”

This bill would allow for a $2 optional fee to be added to all DMV registration completed through DMV kiosks or online. Davis said that, originally, it was meant for all forms of registration, but because of implementation costs to the DMV, it was limited to just online and kiosk registrations. Even now, this optional fee may take a couple years to be implemented, though, “because of the DMV’s IT [information technology] load. It will take effect when the director of DMV certifies that the funding is available,” according to Davis.

The funding collected from this optional fee will then be used for various projects within the county it is collected in, to improve streets for multiple users. It is not limited to improvements for bicyclists alone. Some improvements could add bicycle lanes, better sidewalks for pedestrians or shelters at bus stops.

“I think the complete streets program, in general, is really important to promote alternative forms of transportation,” Davis said. “It will help to get people out of cars, decrease pollution and make our community more livable.”

Scott Hall, bicycling activist and board member of the Nevada Bicycle Coalition as well as many other cycling groups in Reno, believes this bill is a step in the right direction. He referenced California Avenue near Reno High School as an example.

“It was very difficult to ride with kids there,” Hall said. “Now, there’s only two lanes of traffic. It slows down the traffic, and then separates out the bicycle lanes. So now you can ride at whatever speed you want.”

He believes that complete streets make it safer for not only bicyclists, but also pedestrians.

“At every crosswalk [on converted roads], you can see the pedestrians better,” Hall said. “You don’t have a double jeopardy situation, which is where a car stops, a pedestrian walks out and the other car hits them. With only one way each direction, you can see the pedestrians and the chances of that injury or that fatality goes down quite a bit.”

Hall also said that he believes these road conversions will decrease the number of car wrecks, generating fewer insurance claims and lower rates.