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RTC Commissioners,

Below, you will find your February 2016 RTC Board Update e-News. This electronic newsletter will be distributed monthly 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.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day and take a FREE Safe RIDE with us from 4 pm to midnight! For route and schedule information, go to Hot Topics at rtcwashoe.com and on our Facebook page.

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

2040 REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN UPDATE UNDERWAY

The 2035 RTP was adopted in 2013; RTC updates the plan every four years.

The public outreach process is now underway as the RTC begins development of the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), which is the long-range transportation plan for the region. The RTP helps guide transportation improvements in the region, sustaining the economy, enhancing livability and accommodating growth. The document also outlines the guiding principles of the RTC and is developed with extensive public input. Public participation opportunities that will be taking place during the next few months include forums for youths, seniors, veterans and on the topics of freight, rail and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These forums precede the community meetings scheduled for this spring and summer for additional community outreach.

Input from residents is crucial in determining the transportation needs of the region and what projects and programs are needed in the years to come.  With the growth the region is experiencing, the update of the RTP is very timely and essential. One of the first opportunities for public input will be at the youth forum, which will be held in conjunction with the Family Health Festival. The event is being organized by Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and will take place at Wooster High School on Monday, February 29 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. 

The 2040 RTP Economic Development Forum is scheduled for March 8 from 10 am to noon at The Innevation Center at 450 Sinclair Street in Reno. The Regional Rail and Bus Transit Forum will take place on March 24, and the Freight Forum will take place on March 31. Both of these forums will also be held at The Innevation Center, 10 am to noon. These forums and the subsequent community meetings will serve to develop the plan. The RTC Board will review and discuss the draft RTP plan for possible adoption later this year.

I will announce the dates of future forums and community meetings in upcoming eNews editions. To attend a forum, RSVP to Michael Moreno at mmoreno@rtcwashoe.com.

Go to rtcwashoe.com and click on Hot Topics for updates about the 2040 RTP.  

CONSTRUCTION SET TO BEGIN AT PYRAMID WAY AND MCCARRAN BOULEVARD INTERSECTION

An artist's rendering of the decorative walls featuring a "Pyramid Lake" theme selected by the community will be installed near the Pyramid/McCarran intersection.

With 60,000 vehicles traversing the Pyramid Way and McCarran Boulevard intersection each day, the location experiences significant gridlock and a large number of crashes. A project to address these issues as well as improving air quality and enhancing mobility and accessibility for all modes of transportation is set to begin construction in April. 

Before construction of the project can begin, demolition activities have been taking place. The demolition phase involves removing 67 homes, a church and three commercial businesses. The RTC worked with property owners to relocate residents and businesses, at no expense to them, before beginning demolition. All structures have been demolished and the project is substantially complete; cleanup of debris will continue next week. Completion next week will be three weeks ahead of schedule and under budget. A community open house will be announced soon to present the project plans, construction timeline and introduce the project team. Stakeholders will receive regular project updates and future community meeting announcements via email throughout the construction phase.

This intersection improvement includes dedicated turning lanes for both Pyramid and McCarran. The project will add new sidewalks for pedestrians and a paved multi-use path that will parallel Pyramid on the eastern side. Additionally, trees will be near the path further beautifying the area. Privacy screens with a decorative design, selected by the community, will be constructed. The project will also result in an improved and safer configuration of the intersection of Pyramid and Queen Way. When the project is completed in late 2017, safety will be improved, traffic congestion reduced and the neighborhood enhanced.

A groundbreaking event is being planned in April, details to be announced. To learn more about the project and to subscribe to receive updates go to http://pyramidmccarran.com.

COMMUNITY SUBMITS NAME IDEAS FOR THE NEW 4TH STREET/PRATER WAY TRANSIT LINE

The public is very excited about the new 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Line debuting in 2018! 230 name ideas for the transit line were submitted by members of the public from January 19 to February 19. This new RAPID line will link travelers to the RTC’s existing premiere transit service, RAPID on Virginia Street. The line will include real-time arrival times, enhanced bus stops and all electric buses.  The line will run on the historic Lincoln Highway, connecting riders to approximately 7,000 jobs in the corridor and educational opportunities.

Some name ideas submitted by the public include: Arts & Brewery Route, Lincoln Line, The Lithium Line, RTC Zephyr, Edison Line and Historical District Line. The project team is now reviewing all the submissions and will announce the name for the new line this spring.


RESIDENTS PROVIDE INPUT ON CREATING THE RTC COMPLETE STREETS MASTER PLAN

Members of the public shared feedback at a workshop at Dilworth STEM Academy in Sparks on February 17.

Complete Streets enhance safety and mobility for everyone. The RTC is developing a Complete Streets Master Plan and updating the RTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Members of the public provided their comments and ideas on proposed recommendations at two workshops in February, supplementing input received at community meetings held in September/October 2015.   

Examples of Complete Streets improvements include: wider sidewalks, bike lanes, improved signage and crosswalks with flashing beacons. All Complete Streets have different elements and are tailored to the needs of neighborhoods and the community as a whole. Recent Complete Streets improvements have resulted in significant reductions in crashes and the severity of crashes. Improvements on Arlington Avenue reduced crashes 46 percent and crashes were reduced 35 percent on Victorian Avenue. On Wells Avenue and Sierra Street crashes were reduced by 31 percent.

For information about Complete Streets and to share your comments and ideas, go to the Hot Topics page on the RTC web site. You may also view the presentations from community meetings and workshops.

NORTH VALLEYS SHORT - TERM SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS APPROVED BY RTC BOARD

Members of the public shared their ideas for improvements with RTC and NDOT representatives at a workshop at O'Brien Middle School on February 4.

At their February meeting, the RTC Board approved short- and mid-term safety enhancements for the North Valleys. The Board voted to move forward with the recommendations developed from the public outreach that has been underway, including a workshop held earlier this month at O’Brien Middle School in Stead. 

Among the improvements planned for 2016 are: more visible signage and striping at Lemmon Drive and the US 395 southbound ramps, an updated pedestrian signal and midblock crosswalk signage near Stead Elementary School and O’Brien Middle School and enhanced turn pocket storage and a protected left turn at Stead Boulevard and Silver Lake. The North Valleys Regional Multimodal Study identified Stead Boulevard and Silver Lake Road as a high-crash location. Design for improvements to the Red Rock and Moya intersection will begin in 2016, with construction planned for 2017. 

If you would like to be added to the Stakeholder list, contact RTC Project Manager Xuan Wang at xwang@rtcwashoe.com or (775) 332 - 9521.

To learn more about the study, go to the Hot Topics section of the RTC website.

MV TRANSPORTATION NAMES RTC RIDE COACH OPERATOR OF THE YEAR

MV Transit RTC RIDE Coach Operator of the Year Wendell Spencer (center) was recognized by the RTC Board at its meeting on February 19.

Congratulations to Wendell Spencer who has been honored as the MV Transportation RTC RIDE Coach Operator of the Year! Each month, MV Transportation employees choose the coach operator with the best safety record, on-time performance, attendance, customer service and overall performance for employee of the month. At the end of the year, all of the coach operators vote for one of the monthly honorees and a Coach Operator of the Year is named.

All of the coach operators have safety as a top priority. Wendell has gone above and beyond to be a safe, courteous and friendly driver.  He has been operating a RTC bus for eight years and is a great example to his fellow coach operators, of which he shared the recognition with and acknowledged their service to the community. 

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS UNDER FTA SECTION 5310 PROGRAM

The RTC Board has issued a call for applications for programs and projects seeking to receive federal funding under Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5310 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), administered by the RTC. These projects involve transportation for seniors, individuals with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged. 

Last October, six projects were funded through Section 5310 – this included an Access to Healthcare Network program to provide free rides to medical-related appointments (reported in the January eNews), along with CitiCare, Seniors in Service, Senior Outreach Services, and the Sierra Nevada Transportation Coalition.  A selection committee comprised of representatives from the Cities of Reno and Sparks, and Washoe County, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and low income and human services agencies will review the applications to determine eligibility and recommend funding.  Applications are due by April 1, 2016.

 

LIKE THE RTC ON FACEBOOK FOR A CHANCE TO RECEIVE A
31-DAY BUS PASS

One of the quickest ways to be in the know about RTC is to follow us on social media. The RTC is encouraging everyone to stay informed about all the agency is doing and how to be involved – it’s as easy as liking the RTC on Facebook! You’ll receive the latest information faster and conveniently on your mobile devices. And for every 100 new likes on the RTC Facebook page, one person will be randomly selected to receive a FREE 31-day bus pass. The RTC Facebook page has information on road construction projects, transit schedules, photos and videos, announcements of upcoming events and more. Like us today at www.facebook.com/rtcwashoe or search rtcwashoe, also on Twitter and YouTube.

RTC DONATES BOOKS TO ALL WCSD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

The RTC is donating copies of “Last Stop on Market Street” to all elementary schools in Washoe County as part of Nevada Reading Week (NRW). The book authored by Matt de la Peña, is the winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal, the 2016 Caldecott Honor Book and the 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book. The book is about a boy and his grandmother taking the bus.  De la Peña autographed the books during a recent visit to Reno, and the donated books will be read to elementary school students next month by RTC staff members to celebrate NRW. The book donation was partially underwritten by Sundance Books and Music. Our thanks and appreciation to them.

7TH ANNUAL NEVADA MOVES EVENT IS QUICKLY APPROACHING

Lincoln Park Elementary School students walk to school while learning about safety along the way in Sparks in 2015.

The week of March 14, 2016 is the 7th Annual Nevada Moves event. The Washoe County Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is holding 18 school assemblies across the school district to prepare students for the spring weather and outside activates.  Performing artist, George Dare will be entertaining and educating students through musical safety messages.  SRTS Coordinator, Officer MJ Cloud will be sponsoring and promoting Nevada Moves Week in Washoe County by encouraging students, parents, and school staff to walk and bike to school safely.  Office Cloud said, “Healthy habits learned at a young age has proven to lower obesity and diabetes in adults, and active children arrive to school ready to learn.”  Last year, 8 schools participated with events ranging from walking school buses to get to class, bike trains, jump rope and obstacle courses.  RTC is a SRTS partner and will participate by promoting multimodal transportation and encourage families to get out and walk and bike to school during Nevada Moves Week.

UPCOMING RTC PHONE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE PLANNED

The RTC will be conducting phone maintenance on March 9th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  During this time, it will not be possible to call any RTC phone numbers – this includes the reservation line for RTC ACCESS, which serves individuals with disabilities, and RTC Passenger Services.  The RTC regrets this unavoidable inconvenience, and urges ACCESS clients to book their trips within the 1-3 days in advance of the planned outage as possible.

In the unlikely event the maintenance takes longer than expected, there may be interruptions in phone service beyond the scheduled four hours. Backup phone lines have been established if the outage last longer than anticipated.  The backup number for RTC ACCESS is 348-0421.  The backup number for RTC Passenger Services is 321-4002. RTC staff may be reached via their business email or info@rtcwashoe.com. Additionally, the following e-mail addresses may be used to reach various departments:

Public Transportation and Operations: rtctransit@rtcwashoe.com
Metropolitan Planning: rtcplanning@rtcwashoe.com
Finance: rtcfinance@rtcwashoe.com
Engineering and Construction: rtcengineering@rtcwashoe.com

 

 

 

2040 RTP Youth Forum at Family Health Festival
2040 RTC Economic Development Forum
Nevada Moves Week
RTC St. Patrick's Day FREE Safe RIDE
RTC Board Meeting
2040 RTP Regional Rail and Bus Transit Forum
   
   

 

     
Your RTC. Our Community.