“If no improvements are made, a vehicle arriving at one of these intersections would experience a delay on an average of over eight minutes.”
The Washoe Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) released a draft traffic study that shows growth in the North Valleys will lead to further congestion if measures aren’t taken to address traffic problems.
“Some of the arterials and collectors connecting U.S. 395 and the North Valleys neighborhoods are anticipated experience close to or more than a 200 percent increase,” the report indicated.
Three of 11 areas studied in the valleys now have an “unacceptable” F rating, which “indicates the highest amount of congestion and worst operations,” according to the report.
Northbound and southbound Parr Boulevard at 395 are rated F, as well as southbound Lemmon Drive at 395, during peak commute hours.
By 2035 the number of F-rated congested areas is project to rise.
“The number of intersections operating at unacceptable levels of service is shown to increase from three in 2016 to 10 in 2035,” the report stated. “To put that in perspective, if no improvements are made, a vehicle arriving at one of these intersections would experience a delay on an average of over eight minutes.”
RTC has addressed some traffic improvements and has identified a number of strategies for the future, including widening lanes, new traffic signals, and better bike, pedestrian and bus access.
A key recommendation is to create a connector from north of Lemmon Valley to Spanish Springs.
“Considering the tremendous anticipated growth in both the North Valleys and Spanish Springs regions, a connection between these two growth centers would reroute some traffic away from U.S. 395, Pyramid Highway and the Spaghetti Bowl,” according to the report. “Responding to the public comments received, a preliminary concept for a North Valleys Connector was presented to the public during … and the attendees were asked to comment on its alignment and value. The public expressed even greater interest during (a) second public meeting and 100 percent of the comments received on this concept were affirmative.”
A long-term cost estimate for improvements is estimated at nearly $197 million.
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Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.