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RTC Commissioners,

Over 35 years of service

Below, you will find your November 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. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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

US DOT DEPUTY SECRETARY VISITS RTC 4TH STREET STATION

US Dept. of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez spoke at the celebration of RTC’s $16 million TIGER grant for improvements in the 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor.
US Dept. of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez spoke at the celebration of RTC’s $16 million TIGER grant for improvements in the 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor.

US Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Mendez spoke to a crowd at RTC 4TH STREET STATION about RTC’s $16 million TIGER grant for the 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project. The project will add four new all-electric buses to serve this route. The project will also create a complete street from Evans Avenue to 15th Street, which includes eight new RAPID transit stations, bike lanes, wider sidewalks and improvements in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act along with safer traffic operations.

The project includes the creation of a historical multi-media experience detailing the rich heritage of the 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor, the historic Lincoln Highway and US 40 in Reno and Sparks. A historical exhibit has been installed at RTC 4TH STREET STATION and another will open at RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA in early December.

In his remarks, Deputy Secretary Mendez also addressed The GROW AMERICA Act with the audience – a four year $302 billion transportation reauthorization bill. Among the provisions of the legislation, funding for transit would be increased by nearly seventy percent above Fiscal Year 2014 levels. Investing in transit infrastructure is critical for communities across the nation, including Washoe County, as we are currently seeking solutions to address our funding and program needs through the work of the Blue Ribbon Committee for Transit.

RTC BOARD RECEIVES CRASH AND SAFETY REPORT

Kids wear helmets and obey traffic laws while riding their bikes in west Reno.
Kids wear helmets and obey traffic laws while riding their bikes in west Reno.

The RTC Board of Commissioners received a report on crashes and safety initiatives. The report showed 31 traffic deaths in Washoe County so far this year, compared to 16 at this time last year. The deaths included eight pedestrians and three bicyclists.

Safety is the RTC’s top priority and serves as a guiding principle for the work we do on behalf of the citizens of Washoe County. The RTC is a partner in the Zero Fatalities program with the NDOT, with the goal of no deaths on Nevada roadways. RTC has also adopted a Complete Street program, which enhances safety by creating separate spaces for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. The Complete Street program is credited with reducing crashes by up to 45 percent on several regional roads as a result of motorists driving closer to the posted speed limit within the improved travel lanes. Recent complete street improvements were made on Sutro Street, Harvard Way, Moana Lane, and on East 9th Street near the Coral Academy where flashing pedestrian lights were installed.

Additional improvements are planned, including a new multi-use path parallel to the southeastern stretch of McCarran Boulevard from Longley Lane to Greg Street. A bike path is also envisioned for Evans Avenue, as part of the UNR Gateway Project. Finally, the Keystone Avenue and Kings Row intersection will receive multi-modal improvements next spring.

The RTC also works with NDOT to develop the Strategic Highway Safety Plan. This plan suggests ways to improve safety in key areas such as: enforcement, engineering and education.

RTC’s safety efforts are further supported by its involvement in the Safe Routes to Schools program. This program broadens safety awareness and helps youth build skills as pedestrians and bicyclists, and arrive and leave school safely.

In 2015, the RTC will introduce a comprehensive safety awareness program in cooperation with the local jurisdictions, NDOT and other community partners.

STUFF-A-BUS FOR SENIORS

Items collected for seniors at the Stuff-A-Bus event in late May, which was Older Americans Month.
Items collected for seniors at the Stuff-A-Bus for Seniors event in late May during Older Americans Month.

On Tuesday November 25th, from noon until 8 pm, one of the RTC’s new all-electric, zero emissions buses will be parked in front of the Aces ballpark to collect donations received for seniors. Members of the community are encouraged to help fill the bus throughout the day with new, essential supplies and items for seniors. The event takes place on the opening day of the ice rink at the stadium, and people are encouraged to drop off new items as they head to the rink for skating. Those making donations at the Stuff-A-Bus for Seniors event will receive a free skate rental for the ice rink valid on opening day.

Some of the requested items include: gloves, grocery carts (at Save Mart for $20), jackets and coats, men’s/women’s pajamas, personal hygiene items, household cleaning supplies, space heaters with auto off, adult diapers, gift cards (grocery, pharmacy, haircuts, pet stores, entertainment, etc.), sweatshirts and sweatpants, socks and undergarments and public transportation passes.

These items may be delivered on Nov. 25 during Stuff-A-Bus for Seniors or during the Senior Giving Tree drive from Nov. 18 through Dec. 16 at Reno City Hall (second floor) or at the Evelyn Mount Community Center. Stuff-A-Bus for Seniors is a cooperative partnership between the City of Reno, Washoe County, City of Sparks, Reno Aces Baseball Club and the RTC.

22ND ANNUAL FOOD FOR FARE

Food Bank of Northern Nevad Logo

The RTC is teaming up with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada for the Food for Fare donation drive. On Thursday, December 11 and Friday, December 12, people who donate non-perishable, non-expired food will be able to ride RTC transit services for free. The donations help support the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, which helps roughly 101-thousand people every month.

This is the 22nd year of the Food for Fare drive! This drive provides critical donations as the holiday season approaches. Donations will be accepted by coach operators as people board. Even those who are not riding the bus may drop off a donation with the coach operator at any RTC bus stop.

For information on routes and schedules, go to http://www.RTCwashoe.com or contact Passenger Services during regular hours at 348-RIDE.

PHASE 2 OF SE MCCARRAN BOULEVARD WIDENING PROJECT

Members of the public learned about the SE McCarran widening project benefits at an open house at Dodson Elementary School on Nov. 19
Members of the public learned about the SE McCarran widening project benefits at an open house at Dodson Elementary School on Nov. 19.

The second of two phases of the McCarran Boulevard widening project will begin in December. An open house was held on November 19th at Dodson Elementary School to inform people about the project. Within the project area, McCarran Boulevard, from Longley Lane to Greg Street, is being widened from four to six lanes – three lanes in each direction. Traffic modeling shows this important project is needed to accommodate growth in the region. This is the second and final phase of the project. The first phase involved widening McCarran Boulevard from Longley Lane to Mira Loma Drive – it was finished in 2012.

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 on foot. New sidewalks will be constructed at strategic locations to better connect people to the new path. The sidewalks will be constructed in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The project is a $31 million investment for the community and is funded through RTC-5 fuel tax.

FOURTH HIGHEST RIDERSHIP DAY FOR RTC ON ELECTION DAY

RTC has four Proterra, fully electric buses in its fleet and plans to acquire four more for the 4th Street/Prater way corridor project in 2017.
On Nov. 4, new transit riders experienced the comfort of RTC's new, fully electric, zero emissions buses which were introduced into its fleet in April 2014.

The Free Transit Day on Nov. 4 brought the fourth highest ridership in RTC history. There were 32,784 rides taken, which is also only 10 rides less than the third highest ridership day. Many people rode RTC buses for the first time, including to several polling locations on this Election Day. The service was especially appreciated by people who are disabled or have mobility issues.

BRIGHT RENO LIGHTS: PROMOTING BICYCLE SAFETY

At RTC 4TH STREET STATION, Reno Bike Project representatives and coalition members provided expert advice on bicycle safety and distributed free bike lights.
At RTC 4TH STREET STATION, Reno Bike Project representatives and coalition members provided expert advice on bicycle safety and distributed free bike lights.

The Bright Reno Lights program is helping make the roads safer for everyone. Thanks to grant funding from the RTC, NDOT, and a community bicycle coalition, the group has been distributing bike lights along with information about bicycle safety. The bike lights have been distributed at several events, and most recently in early November at RTC 4TH STREET STATION. Arm band lights and flashing handle bar lights were handed out, and people received a demonstration on how to properly install and use the lights. With it getting dark earlier, the RTC is reminding everyone to be visible for safety.

COORDINATED HUMAN SERVICES PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PLAN

Key stakeholders discuss ideas at a meeting at the Best Western Airport Plaza Hotel on Nov. 13.
Key stakeholders discuss ideas at a meeting at the Best Western Airport Plaza Hotel on Nov. 13.

RTC continues to discuss ideas for serving seniors, the disabled and the disadvantaged as it updates the Coordinated Human Services Public Transportation Plan (CTP). The plan ensures funding for important services under section 5310 of MAP-21.

After several public open house events and stakeholder meetings, the RTC Commissioners received an update at their Nov. 21 meeting on projects being discussed for potential funding. RTC Commissioners requested staff continue their work with stakeholders and at a future board meeting provide more information that will help them prioritize projects for funding. The final CTP, including the recommended projects, will be presented to the RTC Commissioners in January 2015.

SHARON ZADRA LEAVES RTC BOARD

RTC Commissioner Sharon Zadra in Washington, DC during the inaugural visit of the Shared Federal Framework in March 2014.
RTC Commissioner Sharon Zadra in Washington, DC during the inaugural visit of the Shared Federal Framework in March 2014.

After two years of dedicated service on the RTC Board, Sharon Zadra’s last meeting as a Board Commissioner was October 17. Sharon represented the City of Reno and has been involved in numerous planning, transit and street and highway improvement projects. Among those projects are the multi-modal improvements recently completed on West Plumb Lane, which have been lauded by residents nearby. The RTC Commissioners and staff expresses its deepest thanks and appreciation to her for her tireless work to improve transportation in the Truckee Meadows and make the region an even more wonderful place to live, work and recreate.

MICHAEL MORENO AWARDED PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

Michael Moreno received the 2014 Mark Curtis, Sr. Professional of the Year Award at the Public Relations Society of America Sierra Nevada Chapter's awards dinner on Nov. 21.
Michael Moreno received the 2014 Mark Curtis, Sr. Professional of the Year Award at the Public Relations Society of America Sierra Nevada Chapter's awards dinner on Nov. 21.

RTC Public Affairs Administrator Michael Moreno has been selected by the Public Relations Society of America’s Sierra Nevada Chapter to receive the Mark Curtis, Sr., 2014 Professional of the Year Award for his excellence and contributions to the communications profession.

Michael has served at RTC for twelve years. He is responsible for public outreach, community engagement, government relations, marketing and branding, among other duties. Michael has been instrumental in coordinating the broad and comprehensive public outreach for the projects and programs the agency administers. During his tenure, the RTC has received recognition for its open and transparent way of doing business with the community, elected and business leaders and the media. We are very proud of Michael’s accomplishments and congratulate him on his achievement.

Upcoming Meetings/Events

November 25
November 27-28
December 3
December 4
December 9
December 11-12
December 18
December 19
December 31
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