The RTC and consulting firm Fehr and Peers held four public meetings earlier this week to gather input from citizens on which areas need the most improvement. Katy Cole, a Fehr and Peers associate, said she was not surprised that members of the public identified problem areas on Virginia Street, Sun Valley Boulevard and Prater Way.
“We actually went out and surveyed about 200 miles of sidewalk,” prior to the public meetings, Cole said. “We looked for obstructions and curb ramp slopes … We have a pretty good feel of what areas need improvement.”
The sidewalk improvement project, known as the Public Right of Way Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan, will examine obstructions in sidewalks such as power poles, cracks and missing curbs or ramps.
The public meetings are simply one of the final steps before moving into the design phase, Cole said.
Marchon Miller, project manager for the RTC, said the input from the community will help Fehr and Peers know which sections of sidewalk should be improved first.
“We are asking the public to tell us where they see deficiencies,” Miller said Friday during a public meeting at the Sparks Senior Center. “Then Katy will take that information and prioritize.”
Currently, Fehr and Peers is designing a couple of projects on sidewalks along Sierra and Virginia streets near the University of Nevada, Reno.
“That would include enhanced crosswalks and sidewalk gap filling,” Cole said. “We will start next year on construction.”
Miller said the ADA Transition Plan is being funded with RTC-5 money from fuel taxes. The RTC has set aside $600,000 in RTC-5 funds for the project near UNR.
In 2010, RTC-5 was implemented to allow the RTC to obtain necessary additional funding for transportation projects by indexing fuel tax rates according to changes in the producer price index, rather than the consumer price index.
The ADA Transition Plan is just one piece of a larger Reno Sparks Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan that, according to www.renosparksbpp.com, will:
• Provide an assessment of current bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
• Develop a plan for a future bikeway system.
• Identify pedestrian improvements in areas with a high demand for walking.
• Develop a prioritized list of projects based on community input, closing existing gaps/deficiencies, latent demand, and project constructability/feasibility. This list will be used to secure funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Public comment can be sent to Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or Fehr & Peers, 50 West Liberty Street, Suite 1090, Reno, Nev. 89501.