Road warriors

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Construction is underway on Virginia Street through midtown Reno. I think most folks in town will agree that the street is in need of an overhaul—especially those damn narrow sidewalks. Pretty strange that arguably the biggest annual local pedestrian event, the Midtown Art Walk, is centered on a street with sidewalks that are only a notch or two above unusable.

Still, Virginia Street is probably Reno’s most famous drag (even though Tom Waits got the name wrong in his 1973 song “Virginia Avenue”). So, it’s a little weird for the street to be mostly inaccessible—down to one lane southbound through midtown, which, during busy times, has traffic slowed to a crawl.

So, of course, people are driving alternative routes, which means that seasoned local drivers are suddenly finding their favorite scenic routes and short cuts much more heavily populated. It’s pretty odd to see a full flotilla of traffic on, say, Forest Street, even with all that concentrated population growth in midtown.

Anyway. Please forgive the Andy Rooney-style gripe about traffic. We’ll have more in-depth reporting about this redevelopment project and its local impact soon. But, for now, do you know for whom that construction project really sucks? Midtown business owners. So, do what you can to get down there to support Recycled Records, Black Hole Body Piercing, Bad Apple Vntg., Under the Rose Brewing Company and all the rest of the great businesses down there on Reno’s main drag. It probably won’t be convenient.

And remember that Virginia Street isn’t the only local street with construction. And anywhere there’s street construction, there are businesses that have lost customers. Just think of all that unending construction on Fourth Street.