Facebook icon Twitter icon

RTC Commissioners,

Over 35 years of service

Below, you will find your October 2014 RTC Board Update e-News. This electronic newsletter will be distributed monthly the week following your Board meeting. Please contact Michael Moreno or me with any questions you may have. Michael can be reached at (775) 335-1869 or email at mmoreno@rtcwashoe.com.

Lee G. Gibson, AICP, Executive Director
Ph: (775) 348-0400 Fax: (775) 324-3503
E-mail: lgibson@rtcwashoe.com

COMMUNITY EVENT TO HIGHLIGHT 4TH STREET/PRATER WAY CORRIDOR INVESTMENT

Historical displays located at RTC 4TH STREET STATION and RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA chronicle the rich history of the 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor.
Historical displays located at RTC 4TH STREET STATION and RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA chronicle the rich history of the 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and United States Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez will be on hand to mark our $16 million TIGER grant award for the 4th Street/Prater Way RAPID Transit project at an event on Tuesday, October 28th at RTC 4TH STREET STATION. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am and is open to the public and media. Joining us for the recognition will be Mayors Cashell and Martini along with other elected representatives, and you! Free event parking is available at the National Bowling Stadium parking garage.

This event comes as the RTC receives $16 million in federal funding for a significant project that connects downtown Reno with downtown Sparks with enhanced bus rapid transit (RTC RAPID) service. The project involves adding four new all-electric, no emissions buses to the fleet to operate on 4th Street in Reno and Prater Way in Sparks. Additionally, eight new RAPID stations will be designed and installed incorporating the corridor’s historical and modern day character. Also included in the project are wider sidewalks, the addition of bike lanes and ADA improvements. The project’s final design is anticipated to be finished in December 2015, and construction could begin in spring 2016.

The event also marks the grand opening of the 4th Street/Prater Way historical exhibition at both of our transit centers in downtown Reno and Victorian Square in Sparks. Once part of the famed Lincoln Highway, the corridor played a key role in the early growth of the region. The exhibition highlights the historical heritage of the corridor which served as a unique and innovative component in developing the overall corridor project.

For more information on the project, go to: http://4thprater.com.

Note: Due to a family emergency in DC, Senator Reid will not be able to attend.

VIRGINIA STREET BUS RAPID TRANSIT EXTENSION PROJECT HONORED

RTC staff, the City of Reno and consultants involved in the project were recognized during the RTC October 17th board meeting.
RTC staff, the City of Reno and consultants involved in the project were recognized during the RTC October 17th board meeting.

The Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association is honoring the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project with the prestigious DeBoer Award. The award, in the category of Outstanding Plan for an Individual Project, was presented at the APA state conference in October in Las Vegas. Among the criteria for the award are: originality, advocacy and benefits. The award is named after Saco Reink DeBoer, the author of the Boulder City plan and renowned planner.

The Virginia Street BRT Project will provide a better connection between the University of Nevada, Reno, downtown Reno and Mid Town. Three new RAPID transit stations will be constructed to serve UNR. Many areas, including the exciting Mid Town district, will be enhanced with wider sidewalks and added bike lanes to accommodate all modes of transportation. The project also includes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements. Additionally, roundabouts will be constructed to serve as gateway features to the UNR campus.

Today, people going to UNR need to transfer at RTC 4TH STREET STATION to complete the short last mile of their trips. The need for a transfer adds time and inconvenience to using transit to access campus, posing a barrier to transit use. The planned RAPID extension to UNR will generate a travel time savings between 12 and 20 minutes on this heavily travelled route. People will also be more inclined to use transit, reducing congestion and contributing to cleaner air.

This is a $27,359,000 project. It is funded through local fuel tax, sales tax and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program. Small Starts funds are also being sought. For more information about the project visit our website at www.rtcwashoe.com, click on the Planning page.

ELECT TO TAKE TRANSIT FOR FREE

American Flag Photo

This Election Day, November 4th, all RTC transit services will be free. This is a great option for transportation to the polls, but it’s also an opportunity for many to ride transit for the first time. Historically, free transit days have led to record ridership amid a fun experience of people learning how to get around the region.

"Increasing accessibility to the polls is a top priority in my role as the State's chief elections officer. I want to thank the Washoe RTC for providing transportation for those who might otherwise not be able to get to the polls and playing a role in strengthening the elections process," said Ross Miller, Nevada Secretary of State.

Transit services will be free all day, but the polls are only open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Washoe County. It’s important to note that not all polling places are served by transit, so people will want to check routes and schedules in advance on http://RTCwashoe.com.

Unlike during early voting, on Election Day people must vote at their assigned polling places. To find your polling place go to: http://nvsos.gov/votersearch/ or check your sample ballot.

SPARKS BOULEVARD CORRIDOR STUDY OPEN HOUSE

Comments from the public were recorded on a map of the corridor.
Comments from the public were recorded on a map of the corridor.

Members of the public are helping plan the future of Sparks. The second public open house this year for the Sparks Boulevard Corridor Study was held at Reed High School on October 2nd. The study examines Sparks Boulevard from Pyramid Way to Greg Street.

Among the study’s goals are to improve safety and to accommodate all modes of transportation – including by vehicle, by bike and on foot. Improvements may include enhanced bike lanes and completions of an existing multi-use path that currently has gaps.
.
Based on public input, traffic is a concern. Widening could be done on Sparks Boulevard from Express Way to Greg Street to reduce congestion. Even with nearby capacity projects taken into account, including the SouthEast Connector, substantial delay for drivers will be created in the years to come should the area remain unimproved. It is projected in 2035, it would take 19 minutes to drive from Greg Street to Baring Boulevard – more than twice the time it takes today. This widening could be done within the existing right-of-way, not requiring the acquisition of homes or other buildings.
The study is also helping identify potential improvements to bring the area into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Comments may be submitted to RTC project manager Debra Goodwin at dgoodwin@rtcwashoe.com or 335-1918. The study’s final recommendations are tentatively scheduled to be considered by the Sparks City Council later this year, followed by the RTC Board in early 2015.

KEYSTONE CORRIDOR STUDY ADOPTED

An open house event on August 21st at Peavine Elementary School was among the opportunities for the public to provide input.
An open house event on August 21st at Peavine Elementary School was among the opportunities for the public to provide input.

The RTC Board voted to adopt the Keystone Avenue Corridor Study. This study involves Keystone Avenue from California Avenue to McCarran Boulevard. The study’s goals include enhancing safety and better accommodating all modes of transportation including – vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.

A kickoff meeting for the study was held in August 2013. Since then, extensive outreach efforts led to numerous ideas for the corridor from members of the public. Outreach efforts included several open house meetings which were held in both the northern and southern ends of the study area.

Among the study’s recommendations is to transform Keystone Avenue into a complete street from University Terrace to Coleman Drive. A complete street has separate spaces for bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles. Additionally, the study recommends improvements to make the area accessible for everyone under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For example, it’s recommended an aging staircase is replaced with a fully ADA compliant ramp near California Avenue and Keystone Avenue.

For more information go to http://RTCwashoe.com and click on Planning. Improvements could be implemented as soon as spring 2015.

STOREY AND WASHOE COUNTIES TO WORK TOGETHER ON FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION IN THE REGION

The Reno-Gazette Journal reported on the announcement Nevada was selected over several other states for the Tesla battery factory, which is expected to employ 65-hundred.
The Reno-Gazette Journal reported on the announcement Nevada was selected over several other states for the Tesla battery gigafactory, which is expected to employ 65-hundred.

With the exciting announcement that Tesla’s gigafactory will be located in Storey County, RTC is working with NDOT, EDAWN, the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency and Storey County to plan transportation for the years to come. Currently, three vanpools serve the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.  It’s estimated that if 10 percent of Tesla employees utilized transit it would require 43 vanpools or three RTC INTERCITY-style buses. RTC Board members provided direction to explore public-private partnerships to provide commuters with reliable transportation, which also supports the regional economy. I will keep you updated as we proceed with this initiative.

STUFF-A-BUS FOR SENIORS ON NOVEMBER 25TH, GET A FREE SKATE RENTAL

The May 2014 Stuff-A-Bus event filled all the seats of an electric bus; donated items were distributed by the Washoe County Senior Center to seniors in the community.
The May 2014 Stuff-A-Bus event filled all the seats of an electric bus; donated items were distributed by the Washoe County Senior Center to seniors in the community.

RTC is once again partnering with the City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County and The Reno Aces Baseball Club to help seniors in the community. We are asking everyone to help stuff an RTC zero emissions, electric bus with new items for seniors. The bus will be parked outside the Aces ballpark in front of the new ice rink on Tuesday, November 25th from noon until 8 p.m. for donations. This is also the opening day for the ice skating rink and the City of Reno’s annual holiday tree lighting event. Everyone who donates will receive a free skate rental!

Some of the new items being requested are: slippers, sweaters, jackets, coats, pajamas, personal hygiene items, towels and wash cloths, adult diapers, grocery and pharmacy gift cards and transit passes.

This is part of the City of Reno’s and Washoe County Senior Services Senior Giving Tree program. A tree at Reno City Hall will be decorated with gift tags with items listed for seniors in need. People are encouraged to buy those items and drop them off on the second floor of City Hall or at the Evelyn Mount Community Center. The drive will be from Nov. 18 through Dec. 16. Washoe County Senior Services ensures these donations reach senior clients in the community.

TRUCKEE MEADOWS TOMORROW FEATURES PANEL ON TRANSPORTATION

Truckee Meadows Tomorrow Logo - "engaging the community measuring our progress"

The non-profit organization Truckee Meadows Tomorrow is inviting everyone to a luncheon and discussion on the topic of Transportation and Quality of Life. The luncheon will be Wednesday, October 29th at the RTC boardroom at 2050 Villanova Drive. It will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a presentation at about noon. The event is sponsored by RTC.

Truckee Meadows Tomorrow monitors indicators of quality of life in the region – these include: safety, health care, education and transportation. This helps set actionable goals and tracks progress to improving our community’s livability. This inaugural luncheon kicks off what will be ongoing roundtables on the indicators. The scheduled panelists for the transportation roundtable are: RTC Planning Department Director Amy Cummings, Sondra Rosenberg of NDOT and Christina Leach of the Federal Highway Administration.

Everyone is welcome to attend, however a $10 donation is requested from those individuals or organizations who are not members of Truckee Meadows Tomorrow.

Please RSVP to Angela Fuss at afuss@cfareno.com

SOUTHEAST MCCARRAN BOULEVARD WIDENING PHASE TWO OPEN HOUSE PLANNED

The initial phase of this project has helped accommodate additional traffic on McCarran Boulevard in southeast Reno.
The initial phase of this project has helped accommodate additional traffic on McCarran Boulevard in southeast Reno.

RTC is planning an informational open house before the second of two phases of work begins on SE McCarran Boulevard. Widening was completed from Longley Lane to Mira Loma Drive in 2012. Work will begin in December to widen McCarran Boulevard from Mira Loma Drive to Greg Street. This widening is needed to accommodate traffic as the region continues to experience population growth.

The open house will be on Wednesday, November 19th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Dodson Elementary School in Reno. RTC staff will be on-hand to answer questions from members of the public and explain the benefits of this project.

SE McCarran will become a six-lane road in the project area – currently there are four lanes. In addition to adding vehicle travel lanes, the project involves construction of sound walls. Some deteriorating privacy screens will be replaced with more effective sound walls. The project will also add a multi-use path parallel to McCarran Boulevard from Longley Lane to Greg Street. The roughly 10-foot wide, paved path will be ideal for people biking and walking. New sidewalks will be constructed at strategic locations to better connect people to the new path.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ISSUED FOR LATE HOURS PARATRANSIT TAXI SERVICE

An RTC ACCESS client is assisted in boarding a paratransit vehicle.
An RTC ACCESS client is assisted in boarding a paratransit vehicle.

The RTC Board is requesting proposals for RTC ACCESS ADA paratransit taxi service. RTC ACESS is a door-to-door paratransit service for those who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This service is vital for disabled individuals in the community to be mobile and independent, enabling them to get to medical appointments and visit their friends and family members 24/7/365. During late hours, the service utilizes taxis rather than the paratransit vehicles that are in operation during the day. The taxis are used for the service from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., giving the disabled flexible transportation, uninterrupted service and allowing RTC to take advantage of operational efficiencies. The hours could be expanded at a future date. The request seeks proposals for a three-year agreement to continue providing this important service in the region.

Upcoming Meetings/Events

October 28
October 30
November 4
November 5
November 5
November 13
November 19
November 21
This is Your RTC.