Tales of the reconstruction

Apropos of nothing: Do you live more than a mile and a quarter from City Hall and downtown? Ever wonder why your streets aren’t on the list for reconstruction? If you go to the city’s website, www.cityofreno.com/Index.aspx?page=695, and look at the criteria for what gets a street fixed when, you’ll continue to wonder. Think you can find a street in your neighborhood that hasn’t been repaired in decades and yet isn’t on the list for the next two years? Yeah, us, too.

So, you ask, how does that relate to another editorial about the poor management of special events by the city of Reno? Well, it’s like this: We’d like to think the majority of people who generate our community’s tax money would get the priority when it comes to spending it. But the fact is, people who generate tax money in this town are routinely inconvenienced by the street and lane closures of special events that only benefit a handful of businesses. Interesting that while the rest of us mooks who live and work around downtown are driving miles out of our way, idling through the gridlock of poorly timed streetlights and cursing the lack of police traffic-direction assistance, those who work in City Hall will have a direct route to work, via First Street, which will be open for the duration of Street Vibrations.

Here’s part of the city’s announcement that, once again, the average Reno citizen who can still be bothered to try and do business within a few blocks of City Hall will be treated as irrelevant by the special-interest-serving Reno City Council.

“Beginning at approximately 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, Virginia Street between First and Sixth Streets will be closed for Street Vibrations in downtown Reno. Also, Commercial Row, Second, Third, Plaza, Fourth and Fifth Streets will be closed between Sierra and Center Streets.

These closures will remain in place through Sunday, Sept. 23. Additionally, Virginia Street will be closed between First and Liberty Streets from 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Sept. 23. First Street will remain open to through traffic for the duration of the event.But why not Fourth Street? Gamblers, bikers and vendors who are headed downtown could shoot straight off West McCarran Boulevard with a minimum of hassle and a minimum of impact on this valley’s taxpaying citizens. Locals who use Fourth Street as the easiest route between Reno and Sparks would not be forced to drive to First Street (because the street closures happen at one-way street intersections). How about just having Fourth Street open during business hours, say 8 a.m.-6 p.m.?This tiny piece of consideration by the Reno City Council for its citizens would save many of this community’s taxpayers many dollars and hours every year. But don’t hold your breath for those changes—not when some tourist might drop a nickel when they pull out their pocket handkerchief.

For the time being, the way the roads in town are used for the benefits of special interests and at the expense of taxpaying locals is a great metaphor for how members of the Reno City Council treat their constituents.