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RTC Commissioners,

Below, you will find your January 2015 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

RTC WELCOMES NEW LEADERSHIP

Photos of Hillary Schieve, Vaughn Hartung, and Bob Lucey

The RTC is a cooperative regional board governed by appointed representatives from Washoe County (2), the City of Reno (2) and the City of Sparks (1). At the January 16th RTC Board of Commissioners meeting, a new commission was seated. Joining incumbent RTC Commissioners, Councilman Ron Smith and Councilwoman Neoma Jardon, on the board are Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve and Washoe County Commissioners Vaughn Hartung and Bob Lucey. The RTC Board also elected Councilwoman Jardon as chair and Councilman Ron Smith as vice-chair.

The RTC Board establishes administrative and operational policy for the agency. These policies are implemented by our professional and technical staff under my supervision. The RTC Board meets on the third Friday of the month at 9 a.m. at our administrative offices located at 2050 Villanova Drive in Reno.

We welcome our new and continuing commissioners and look forward to their leadership and stewardship of the RTC.

WASHOE COUNTY RINGS IN 2015 WITH RECORD RIDERSHIP ON SAFE RIDE

The RTC Board thanked the sponsors of the New Year’s Eve Safe RIDE at its January meeting.

For thirty years, the RTC has been providing free transit rides on New Year’s Eve. This year more people than ever before celebrated responsibly by riding the bus. Ridership during the hours of 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. was 12,386 – the highest ridership total for this service compared to previous years.

Ridership continues to steadily increase as more people become aware of the Safe RIDE program as evidenced by the increase of the more than 2,000 rides taken during this New Year’s Eve. The Safe RIDE program complements the statewide Zero Fatalities initiative and also encourages the public to try transit.

This service would not have been possible without our event partners including: Renown Health, the Northern Nevada DUI Task Force, KOLO 8, Wood Rodgers, Inc., Club Cal Neva, REMSA, Morrey Distributing, Reno Firefighters Local 731, the RSCVA, Reno News & Review and Cumulus Media.

The next Safe RIDE event will occur on St. Patrick’s Day.

WORK BEGINS ON SOUTHEAST MCCARRAN BOULEVARD

The shoulder located just south of Greg Street is currently closed on both sides of the McCarran Boulevard bridge in preparation for construction work.

Crews have begun creating the foundation for a multi-use bridge over the Truckee River. This is the second phase of the SE McCarran Boulevard widening project, which will bring the road from four lanes to six from Greg Street in Sparks to Longley Lane in Reno. The project includes many amenities for bicyclists and pedestrians – including the multi-use bridge, a multi-use path and sidewalks placed at strategic locations. Sidewalks will also be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The first phase of the project widened SE McCarran Boulevard from Longley to Mira Loma, and was completed in 2012. Phase two will widen the road from Mira Loma to Greg Street. Pavement work and installation of sound walls will begin in spring, and will involve some lane closures for drivers. Residents and commuters will be notified in advance of the closures. This project represents a $31-million investment funded through fuel tax and NDOT.

RTC TO TESTIFY BEFORE NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEES

When the Nevada State Legislature convenes for its 78th session next month, issues involving transportation such as safety and fuel indexing, among others will be discussed. On February 10th, I will be joining the RTC of Southern Nevada and NDOT to present an overview of our respective agencies to the transportation committees of the Senate and Assembly. The RTC will have an active role in working with lawmakers to address key issues and seek solutions to transportation challenges facing Nevada.

On February 18th, the RTC, with representatives from MPO’s statewide, will participate in a Nevada Transportation Breakfast with legislators. This gathering will provide an opportunity to communicate and discuss our priorities with state policymakers.

As the session progresses, I will provide informational updates in the e-News and RTC Board meetings to keep you informed of issues being considered and how they may impact the RTC.

RTC BEGINS BIKE SHARE STUDY AND COMPLEMENTS OTHER BIKE INITIATIVES

RTC bike share study logo


In many communities people are able to check out a bike, get to where they need to go, and then leave it securely for someone else to check out. The RTC will be conducting public outreach to measure whether such a program would be viable in Washoe County. The study will identify costs, goals and performance measures. Encouraging transportation other than in vehicles promotes health and creates cleaner air. The study is part of the RTC’s on-going commitment to encourage green trips and maintain the region’s status as a bicycle friendly community. The study is scheduled for completion in May 2015.

This past summer, the RTC launched an app that helps bicyclists locate racks to securely park their bikes. Additionally, the app allows the user to suggest a location for a bike rack. The app can be downloaded by searching “RTC Bike Rack” in the Apple or Android store.

In 2015, the RTC will be updating the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan which is the official policy document addressing the development of bicycle and pedestrian facilities for transportation purposes in the Truckee Meadows. More information will be provided in future e-News editions.

If you are interested in bike and pedestrian issues, the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee normally meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 6 pm in the RTC Board Room (check the website calendar for information). All RTC advisory committee meetings are open to the public and people are encouraged to attend to share their comments and suggestions. Information of all RTC advisory committees is available at http://www.rtcwashoe.com/about-rtc-35.

TRUCKEE MEADOWS HEALTHY COMMUNITIES CONFERENCE

RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson presents at the inaugural Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities Conference on Jan. 8th at the University of Nevada, Reno.

RTC staff and I participated in the inaugural Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities Conference earlier this month. Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities is a collaborative that seeks to improve the health and wellness of the local community by connecting stakeholders and community members to a common mission.

Promoting safe and healthy communities is our first guiding principle for the work we deliver. As a panelist on the “Becoming a Healthy Community” panel, I shared with attendees our initiatives, projects and programs benefitting the health and safety of our community to support the region’s quality of life.

First Lady Kathleen Sandoval served as honorary chair during the conference attended by 250 community leaders who heard from local and national speakers on the topic of building healthier communities. The goal of the conference was to build an action plan that addresses local health problems and further engages the community to implement projects that create a healthy community. By encouraging active transportation and providing transit, the RTC is helping improve the health of the community as well as improving our air quality. Strategies are being developed post conference and will be implemented in the coming year.

REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS COLLABORATIVE LAUNCHED

Communications staff from local entities met at the RTC on Jan. 21 to kick off the Collaborative Regional Communications Team.

Community engagement is the foundation for the work we do on behalf of the citizens of Washoe County. Local entities and organizations continually seek innovative means to maximize outreach to the public. This past week, communications professionals from the RTC and other local agencies formed the Collaborative Regional Communications Team (CRCT). This team includes representatives from the City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County, University of Nevada, Reno, NDOT, and RTC. The team will extend invitations to other entities to participate in the CRCT.

The purpose of the team is to discuss strategies to engage and encourage participation from the public in the work we do. Providing the public with vital information about their government and community enhances engagement, creating a vibrant community. The CRCT builds on existing partnerships by establishing a broader network for sharing resources and ideas to benefit our respective entities and the region as a whole. Using the communication tools within our entities, ranging from traditional media to digital communications, we can achieve a broader range in public outreach and messaging.

RTC STAFF SEEKS IMPROVED WAYS FOR EFFICIENCY AND COST SAVINGS

As part of the RTC’s longstanding goal of continuous process improvement (CPI), many staff members have taken on CPI projects in addition to their day-to-day workloads. These improvements have resulted in greater work efficiency for the agency and cost savings for taxpayers.

In the engineering department, a project has been underway to digitize hardcopies of engineering projects and facilities plans.  When completed, more than 500 plans will be available electronically. This will significantly reduce the time to locate plans from days to minutes. Anyone (public, consultants, RTC staff, local agency staff) will be able to view, download or print the plans from a link on RTCwashoe.com that will take them to the database.

In addition to other improvements, the Facilities Maintenance (FM) group created a requisition tracking system for FM purchasing which will save approximately $15,000 per year in labor.

The Finance Department is developing a project to identify events that impact revenue per passenger in order to optimize revenue.

A staff steering committee has been formed to train others on process improvements to realize further savings of taxpayer dollars and create greater efficiencies.

CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE OPENINGS

The RTC is recruiting for two positions on the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and three alternate positions on the Committee. The CAC provides a rewarding experience to be a part of the process that improves safety in the community as well as guides the future of transportation in Washoe County. The CAC provides input to the RTC on policy issues relative to public transportation, the regional street and highway system, and multimodal transportation planning. The committee meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm in the RTC Board Room. I invite you to join the CAC or share this opportunity with someone you know. Download an application online.

TRUCKEE MEADOWS TOMORROW BOOK DRIVE

A red barrel at RTC's Terminal Way location holds a sampling of the books being collected.

RTC is partnering with Truckee Meadows Tomorrow (TMT) in a book drive to benefit the Washoe County School District’s Read and Succeed program. Donations of new or gently used books can be made at the lobby of RTC offices at 1105 Terminal Way between now and January 29th. Donations can also be made during the TMT Community Forum on early childhood reading success and its impact on quality of life, which will be held at the Renown Regional Medical Center’s Mack Auditorium on Thursday, January 29th from 5-7 p.m. The books will be given to local children reading below grade level to take home and keep as the beginning of their in-home library. More information is available at http://www.truckeemeadowstomorrow.org.

Upcoming Meetings/Events

January 28
January 28
February 4
February 4
February 6
February 19
February 20
 
This is Your RTC.