49.3 F

April 12, 2023 Reno City Council preview (commentary)


By Alicia Barber

I don’t want to jinx anything, but it seems like it might finally be safe to wish everyone a Happy Spring. Grateful as I know we are for all the winter’s abundant precipitation, my heart is so happy to see those daffodils finally bursting through the soil.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 4/12), City Council will be receiving Gehl Studio’s final recommendations from the Virginia Street Placemaking Study. Plus I have updates (of sorts) on the Lear Theater, the Bowling Stadium mural, more demolition from Jacobs, and what’s happening (& what’s not) with the old CitiCenter station on Center Street.

You can access the full April 12 Council agenda with hyperlinks here. So let’s look first at the final Placemaking Study recommendations.

Item D. 4: The Placemaking Study

Item D.4 is an action item where Council can potentially both accept the final recommendations and vote to adopt Gehl’s three suggested implementation phases.

There are three documents available to the public in advance of the meeting:

  1. The six-page Staff Report summarizes the previous Council actions and Gehl’s process (pp. 1-3) and provides a basic outline of their recommended three-phase approach (pp. 4-6).
  2. The staff’s Final Report Memo to Council repeats the basic components of the three suggested phases (pages 1-3), along with explanations of what are categorized as “five strategic moves” to explain the underlying goals of the phased actions plus illustrations of the most central concepts (pages 3-7).
  3. Lastly, you can read the entire 143-page Placemaking Study document. This is a comprehensive overview of the entire process, including justifications, explanations, and plentiful illustrations. The final “Recommendations & Concept Alternatives” begin on p. 81. Funding initiatives are described on p. 125. The implementation phases are again described on p. 126-129 with a map of where along Virginia Street those actions would take place on page 130.

It’s a lot to take in, and the recommendations look much like what we were shown in the last public meeting (February 23), which I discussed in my last Brief, “Placemaking, Micromobility, and You” as did Mike Van Houten of Downtown Makeover here. More recently, Ben Margiott of News4Reno wrote a summary of the final recommendations. There’s really too much to go over here, so I suggest you dig into it as you are interested and able, and do consider sending in or delivering your comments to City Council following the instructions at the top of the agenda.

One of the most significant recommendations would add protected bike lanes through the entire central section of Virginia Street by eliminating the center turn lane in the heart of downtown and modifying the timing of stop lights to slow traffic even further (see p. 128). Here’s an illustration of a “typical section” in that area.

Read the rest at The Barber Brief.

The Barber Brief is an independent, free e-newsletter and blog written by Dr. Alicia Barber on the Substack platform. It is reposted by This Is Reno with her permission.

This Is Reno is your source for award-winning independent, online Reno news and events since 2009. We are locally owned and operated.