Friday, September 25, 2015

Midtown Meeting....

Wednesday evening the Great Streets Coalition hosted a meeting to get out more information on what's actually planned and happening with the redesign in the Midtown area.  In short the meeting was well attended by both regular folks and business owners.  The discussions were very positive with the continued primary questions being focused on parking and bike lanes. 

Free appetizers and good beer!  Bet you wish you came now!

Not surprisingly, the single bike rack at Brasserie was full to overflowing so locking up to the fence was a popular option!

 To give a quick rehash of where the project stands.  Everyone is on board with wider sidewalks (10 ft plus) and these are in the current RTC plan.  The plan also includes ditching the continuous center turn lane and will have turn pockets that pop back into existence at primary intersections.  Finally, the current plan includes NO bike lanes but does have sharrows (share the lane markings that allow cyclists to ride right down the middle of the lane) in the midtown district.  The current level of on street parking will not be decreased in the existing plan.

The parking vs. bike lanes continues to be the dividing issue with most business owners.  The surveys done by RTC show the majority of the public prefers to give up some parking for the bike lanes.  The business owners when polled are currently about 50-50 on parking vs. bike lanes.  

The short take from me on the bike lane vs. parking issue.  Midtown only has a perceived parking problem.  I'm in midtown about 3-4 times a week.  I bike and I drive.  There is always convenient parking if you're willing to walk a block or two....and to be honest this is ONLY at lunch time.  You can park right on Virginia St. within a half block of the business your interested in at any other time of day (yep, including during night life hours).  And in all fairness, it's just as hard to find a place to lock up a bike at lunch time....all the bike racks are FULL!

So, to make the street safe for everyone we'd have to give up about 36 parking spots (yep, only 36).  This lets everyone use Midtown...even preferences to one group.  And with the current plan we'd be replacing those 36 spots with additional parking on side streets and actually GAINING additional parking spot numbers!!

Unfortunately, right now the RTC plan is no bike lanes and just keep adding parking for cars.  So that's the short and sweet story.  If you want to help change the current plan please get involved.  Send an email (contacts below) to your council person and the mayor.  Let me know you want streets that work for everyone....not just a special group.


Friends of Great Streets,

Thanks to all of you that attended our meeting at the Brasserie last night. As we mentioned, it's getting down to the wire to convince a few more City Council members that we need a great street. 

If you can, please take a few minutes to email and/or call the following City Council members to tell them in your own words:

1) Thank you for supporting wide sidewalks, street trees and slower speed limits on Virginia Street; and 
2) We need your leadership to create a safe bicycle route from UNR all the way through Midtown.

Council members Brekus and Bobzien are already on board with this vision. But council members Duerr, Delgado and McKenzie are on the fence. You can contact them at:

Naomi Duerr: 775-334-2017,
Oscar Delgado: 775-334-2012,
Paul McKenzie: 775-334-2015 ,

It is extremely important that these council members continue to hear from Reno citizens that this is an important issue! It will also be important to have lots of people attend the City Council meeting when this issue comes up for a vote; we will let you know as soon as that is scheduled.

Thank you for your help!

- Great Streets Coalition

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