The RTC suddenly has $20m available for alternative transport projects and they put University Way as part of the priority list in a survey they issued of the downtown streets to spend the money on.
These are the TMBA recommendations on the survey scale of 1 to 10:
- University Way (rate: 10) – This project is at 30 percent design and connects major hubs – UNR, Downtown and Midtown
- 5th St (rate: 9) – This is nearly complete and needs only a few fixes
- 6th St (rate 8) – Connects 4th street to west Reno
- Lake/Evans (rate: 7) – Recommended by the Dutch Cycling Embassy as a bus and bike only route
- Vine St (rate: 7) – This should really be Washington because that has better connection to Rancho San Rafael, 7th and parks.
- Virginia Street (Rate: 6) – This is already the safest of all downtown streets, but it is where everyone wants to be and it is an important route for detours between hubs during closures.
The reasoning behind this priority list is based on University Way is the closest to completion, supported by studies, and a major safety need between UNR, downtown, and midtown. Virginia Street is already the safest of all the downtown streets. University Way and Virginia are important complimentary detour routes during closures On Lake and Evans: The Dutch Cycling Embassy recommended them as a bike and bus-only street to connect to the bus station.
At the end of the survey is a question about HOW they should develop bike paths on these streets: Fewer paths that are more expensive, or more paths that are cheaper? Please support the “more paths for cheaper” option. We MUST tell RTC to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer funds and develop safety measures faster.
PARKING: Many of you may have questions about the elimination of parking on University Way/Center Street if a two-way bike path is installed. These are legitimate questions. Those concerns were addressed in the Alternatives Analysis study which said there is sufficient parking on side streets and installing parking meters would be a benefit to businesses so that people aren’t parking for free all day and taking up valuable space. The protected bike path can also be adjusted to preserve access to loading zones and parking garages with insight from the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance.
HISTORY: During the development of the midtown project, the City of Reno made a commitment to the micro modal community to install a safe route between UNR and Midtown on University Way/Center Street as a concession for not installing bike paths in midtown. It was supposed to be completed last year but the city has been stalling. The City should keep its word and this survey is a way to tell them to follow through now. For more information, see the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance Center Street page.