We are happy to spread the word that multimodal improvements are coming to the Oddie/Wells corridor! Below, we’ll briefly walk through what the proposed Oddie/Wells Project will mean for bikes and peds, where the project is in its timeline, and what you can do to help make it awesome.
What is happening? RTC is planning to revamp Wells Avenue/Oddie Boulevard from 9th Street in Reno to Pyramid Way in Sparks (see map). Right now, this 3.2-mile-long corridor is a hellscape for multimodal travelers: there are no bike lanes, inconsistent sidewalks, few trees, and wide auto lanes in each direction leading to high traffic speeds. The proposed project will reduce the auto lanes to two narrower lanes in each direction, add a median, and–best of all!–add bike infrastructure, continuous sidewalks, and landscaping in both directions. The western end of the project has been extended to connect to the I-80-adjacent frontage path between Wells and Valley, so this sweet multimodal infrastructure will link to the University (and the upcoming Center Street Cycle Track!). This is great news!
What’s the timeline? RTC’s engineers are in the preliminary design process right now. Public meetings about the project were held in November 2018 and March 2019, and RTC’s team has been great about incorporating public input into the proposed design. RTC expects to have the final design completed in early 2020. Currently, they are working through the 30% and then 60% designs with input from the public and local jurisdictions.
What can you do to help? There are two potential bike infrastructure design elements under consideration:
1. A standard white striped bike lane with a striped buffer.
2. A raised cycle track throughout the whole corridor AND green bike boxes to allow cyclists to safely make left-hand turns at intersections.
We strongly support that cycle track and bike box option! The cycle track would create an additional visual and physical barrier between cars and bikes (since the track is slightly raised, cars would feel like they were hopping a curb if they drifted into it, unlike a standard bike lane), and this would encourage less confident riders to try biking. Additionally, this cycle track would connect a number of existing bicycle routes including the multi-use path between Wells Avenue and Valley Road and the bike lanes on Sutro Street and El Rancho Drive.
To help make the cycle track happen, you can
1. Attend an upcoming RTC Board meeting, held on the third Friday of every month, and make a public comment in favor of the cycle track option for this project.
2. Email Maria Paz Fernandez, the RTC project manager, at MPazFernandez@rtcwashoe.com, to express your support.
Below is a sample rendering of how one portion of the corridor could look with the addition of a cycle track.