RTC Stays The Course With Midtown Street Design

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Lee Gibson of the Regional Transportation Commission with City Councilwoman Neoma Jardon.
Lee Gibson, right, of the Regional Transportation Commission with City Councilwoman Neoma Jardon.

Midtown’s Virginia Street designs were debated once again today at the Washoe Regional Transportation Commission’s (RTC) board meeting.

At issue is whether the center turn lane will be kept on Virginia Street between Liberty and Vassar streets.

Prior input, and the current plan adopted by RTC and the city, removes the turn lane but maintains three left-hand turns while creating a roundabout at Mary and Center streets, a median on Virginia Street and wider sidewalks.

But many property owners wanted to see more ways for traffic to turn off of Virginia Street.

A petition was submitted to RTC to look at the center median “to consider business access concerns,” said RTC’s Amy Cummings.

A limited right of way will not accommodate wider sidewalks with street trees, on-street parking and center turn lane, she said. “We can only fit two of those three items.”

Many wanted to maintain the current plan.

Recycled Records owner Paul Doege said that only so many options are available.

“With wider sidewalks … we will have people spending more time down in Midtown and the businesses will benefit from it,” he said. “I think the parking is there. We just can’t have it all. I’m in favor of the current plan and leaving it be.”

Numerous meetings have been held over the past few years about the Virginia Street redesign. The corridor is constrained by the street’s width and the need for ADA-accessible sidewalks.

The commissioners voted unanimously to keep the design as-is, but it may go back in front of the Reno City Council again for future changes.

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About Bob Conrad 834 Articles

Bob Conrad is proprietor and co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno and Conrad Communications, LLC, his marketing communications consulting company (disclosure: client work includes projects funded by grants through UNR) and is an adjunct faculty member at Truckee Meadows Community College. He is a contributor to Reno Public Radio.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you, commissioners, for thinking long term.

    We need to think for the future. The valley is nearly filled with development. The way of the future is go up. The city will be denser and more people walk in DT and midtown. We need tree and sidewalk.

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