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Your RTC. Our Community.


August 2018

RTC Commissioners, Below you will find your
August 2018 RTC Board Update eNews.
This electronic newsletter is distributed
monthly following your board meeting.
The project team and local business owners with the recipient of the Burning Man tickets at the RTC Transforming Virginia Street Construction Kick-Off Block Party on August 23, 2018.

Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit
Extension Project Begins Soon

 

The RTC and local construction firm Sierra Nevada Construction (SNC) will begin to transform Virginia Street with the start of the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project in the Midtown Reno area on Tuesday, September 4. 

This more-than-$80-million investment in our community will create connectivity between Midtown Reno and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), and will support economic development, enhance safety, and improve livability in the corridor. 

The project addresses critical transportation needs including improving transit operations by extending the Virginia Line RAPID transit service to UNR, correcting ADA sidewalk deficiencies, improving traffic operations and beautifying the corridor. Up to 300 trees will be added to the corridor as part of the project.

The project is funded with fuel tax revenue, federal and private funds.

Construction information: 
On Tuesday, September 4, crews will set up traffic control and place construction equipment and materials along the corridor. Shortly after all traffic control and detours are in place, construction crews will begin work. The first part of the project will focus on upgrading aging utility infrastructure and moving overhead utilities underground. 

The project team has developed an accelerated construction schedule to complete construction as soon as possible. Construction activities will occur during the day between 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. Some night work will be necessary to fast-track construction operations. On September 16, crews will start night work on South Virginia Street between Plumb Lane and Mt. Rose Street from 7 p.m. – 5 a.m. 

The project is creating up to 50 jobs in our community. 

How to get to Midtown during construction: 
There are more ways to get to Midtown than just on Virginia Street. As part of the project, South Virginia Street from Liberty Street to Plumb Lane will be open to southbound traffic only. Northbound traffic will detour on South Virginia starting at Wells Avenue to Vassar Street to Holcomb Avenue or Center Street. Northbound traffic can also detour to Mt. Rose Street to Plumas Street. Side streets along Virginia Street in Midtown provide access to all businesses. 

Parking:

Designated Midtown parking will be provided by SNC at Shopper’s Square and the marked parking lot at Forest Street and Tahoe Street behind the Ponderosa Hotel. 

Additional transportation and parking options will be announced soon.

Public Outreach:
On August 23, the project team hosted the Virginia Street Transformation construction kick-off block party. The event included Midtown businesses, residents and the community to join us in Midtown to learn more about the project, meet the team and enjoy free food and beverages.  Additionally, attendees were encouraged to sign-up to receive stakeholder updates and enter for an opportunity to receive Burning Man tickets and playa accessories. The City of Reno also participated to seek public input for art in the Midtown District. This event was conducted as part of the project’s outreach plan which encompasses a significant effort to attract visitors to Midtown during construction.  The event hosted approximately 350 attendees and was covered by all major television news stations.  

Three events are slated to occur in September:  
September 13 – Construction Community Lunch at a surprise Midtown location.
September 13 – Project team at Midtown District Reno Merchants Association's Mixer at Under the Rose from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
September 22 – 18 Around Midtown Mini Golf Extravaganza from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There has been extensive traditional and social media coverage leading up to the start of construction with all media outlets and RTC social media channels (with support from our public agency and private sector partners, including the Midtown District Merchants Association). The project website has up-to-date information and project updates are also being distributed to our stakeholder mailing list.

Business Support: 
We want to be successful together during construction and, to ensure that success, the RTC encourages the community to support local businesses during construction. There are fun events and business-patronage opportunities planned, so be sure to follow RTC on Facebook and Twitter to attend events and visit Midtown businesses. 

The RTC will also create incentives to attract people to Midtown during construction. Businesses can participate in the Business Support Program by calling (775) 300-1848 or emailing virginiastreetrapidextension@ncenet.com to be included. There is no cost for businesses to participate.

More information:

For more information on the project, construction operations, business-support opportunities and more, please visit VirginiaStreetRAPIDExtension.com/midtown, text Virginia to 797979, or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
Learn More at VirginiaStreetRAPIDExtension.com
RTC Commissioner Neoma Jardon speaks at the RTC's community meeting to present Midtown to UNR Bicycle Facility Alternatives on August 20, 2018. Council Member David Bobzien and Council Member Oscar Delgado also spoke at the event.

RTC Holds Community Meeting to Present Midtown to UNR Bicycle Facility Alternatives


The RTC held a community meeting about potential bicycle improvements for the Midtown to UNR corridor on Center Street and Sierra Street. The meeting was held on Monday, August 20 at Reno City Hall.

The meeting allowed community members to provide input to improve connectivity between the University of Nevada, Reno, downtown Reno and the Midtown District to enhance bicycle-commuting options within the region.

There were four alternatives discussed, including:
1.    Two-Way Cycle Track on Center
2.    One-Way Cycle Track on Center & Sierra
3.    One-Way Standard Bike Lanes on Center & Sierra
4.    Two-Way Center Running Cycle Track on Virginia Street (eliminated)

Attendees listened to the options, including the estimated costs, maintenance considerations, roadway capacity, parking impacts and the level of traffic stress. Attendees also reviewed the alternatives and selected their preferred design.

There will be a presentation to the RTC Board in October or November when staff will summarize the feedback received from the public meeting, as well as feedback from Reno City Council. Staff will seek direction from the Board to proceed with engineering design, which is anticipated to occur during winter 2018 through summer of 2019. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin on one of the design alternatives in summer/fall of 2020.
 Paving operations are nearly complete on the 4th Street/Prater Way
Bus RAPID Transit Project.

4th Street/Prater Way BRT Project Update


Paving operations for the entire project are expected to wrap up by Saturday, September 1, and the entire project is expected to be complete by this fall. The road will open to two-way traffic again once paving operations are complete.

With major paving operations nearing a close, crews still need to finish roadway striping and some utility and landscaping work, and install RAPID transit stations before the project is done. Crews will finish work on the transit stations throughout the corridor as the RTC gets ready to launch the Lincoln Line RAPID Transit Service this fall. People can expect minor, intermittent lane closures as crews complete these final tasks.

A grand opening event is being planned in late October.

Businesses in this area are open and accessible, and we encourage everyone to support and patronize businesses in the construction zone.

For the latest updates, text 4PRATER to 797979, or visit 4thPrater.com to sign up for email notifications.
Learn More at 4thPrater.com

Lower Bus Fares for Veterans, More Seniors Start September 4


The RTC's lower bus fares for Veterans and more seniors are set to go into effect on Tuesday, September 4. 

We’re proud to lower bus fares to create a more cost-effective transportation choice for seniors in our community and for the Veterans who have served our country with honor and courage.

All Military Veterans with a driver’s license or state ID with a Veterans designation or DD form 214 will be qualified for the reduced-fare rate offered to seniors, youth, and individuals with disabilities. Veterans may also qualify for an RTC Disabled ID card if they possess a VA card showing a service-connected disability.

The qualifying age for senior fares has dropped from age 65 to age 60, allowing more seniors to qualify for reduced fares.

The RTC Board of Commissioners approved lowering bus fares for Veterans and more seniors in May 2018. 

The RTC Board approved fare reductions across the board for RTC transit services. On October 6, more price changes will go into effect, including: 

 
  • The 24-Hour Pass will change to a Day Pass. Prices will be reduced from $5.00 to $3.00 (regular cost) and $2.50 to $1.50 (reduced cost). Transfers will be eliminated. Day Passes will expire at midnight of the same day of activation.
  • The 7-Day Pass price will be reduced from $19.50 to $14.50 (regular cost) and $9.75 to $6.00 (reduced cost).
  • The 31-Day Disabled Pass price will be $32.50. 
  • The price of a single trip for individuals with disabilities will decrease from $1.00 to $0.75. The price of a single trip for an ACCESS ID holder will change from $0.50 to $0.75.

The new fare structure will ensure the availability of affordable public transportation to everyone, provide fare equity among public transportation services and passenger categories, and provide a strong incentive for transit use to help reduce region-wide traffic congestion, air pollution, and fuel consumption. Overall this will help to increase transit ridership through enhanced transit options for riders.

NDOT Announces Traffic Changes and Ramp Meter Activation Coming to U.S. 395 in North Reno

 
Travel onto U.S. 395 in north Reno will be enhanced as the Nevada Department of Transportation activates new ramp meters and lengthened Clear Acre Lane on-ramp next week.

New Ramp Meters:
Ramp meters will be activated at the southbound U.S. 395 on-ramps from Lemmon Drive, Clear Acre Lane, north McCarran Boulevard and Oddie Boulevard, as well as the Oddie Boulevard on-ramp to northbound U.S. 395.

Drivers will first see test activation, with ramp meters intermittently operating during the following hours:
  • Sept. 4: Meters at southbound U.S. 395 on-ramps from Clear Acre Lane and north McCarran Boulevard temporarily activated between 9 a.m. and noon
  • Sept. 6 and 7: All ramp meters intermittently activated between 6 and 9 a.m.
  • Beginning Monday, Sept. 10, full activation will start, with ramp meters operating during peak travel times to help smooth traffic flow onto the freeway. Timing and operation of the ramp meters will continue to be optimized in subsequent weeks.
Ramp meters are traffic signals placed at the top of freeway on-ramps with red and green lights. Drivers stop at red ramp meter lights. When the light turns green, one car can enter the freeway at a time. By more evenly metering the flow of traffic merging onto freeways, ramp meters can reduce congestion and maintain a steadier traffic flow onto the freeway, as well as allow merging vehicles to enter freeway traffic more smoothly. By smoothing traffic flow, ramp meters can reduce crashes associated with stop-and-go traffic and high-speed merging. More information is available at www.nevadadot.com/rampmeters.

Lengthened Clear Acre Lane On-Ramp to Southbound U.S. 395:
Beginning Friday evening, Sept. 7, a lengthened Clear Acre Lane on-ramp to southbound U.S. 395 will also open. The lengthened ramp reaches the north McCarran Boulevard on-ramp, providing additional freeway capacity and opportunity to merge onto the freeway.

Previously, the north McCarran Boulevard on-ramp to southbound U.S. 395 merged into a new freeway travel lane, merging alongside two lanes of freeway traffic. Those merging onto southbound U.S. 395 from McCarran Boulevard will now be merging into three instead of two freeway lanes, providing additional opportunities and traffic gaps to access the freeway.

This winter, wrong-way driver detection systems will also be activated on U.S. 395 in the North Valleys to help reduce the potential of wrong-way driver crashes. Through the next five years, NDOT will repave and add additional designated merging lanes between freeway ramps on both directions of U.S. 395 from McCarran Boulevard to Lemmon Drive, as well as add an additional southbound travel lane.

Further state transportation information is available at www.nevadadot.com or (775) 888-7000.
Learn More at NevadaDOT.com

Upcoming Events and Meetings

September 4
RTC Presentation at Neighborhood Advisory Board Meeting about improvements to Vassar Street, 5:30 p.m. at Reno City Hall
September 6
RTC Presentation at Neighborhood Advisory Board Meeting about improvements to Plumb Lane, 5:30 p.m. at McKinley Arts & Culture Center
September 11
RTC ADA Transition Plan Update Stakeholder Meeting
2 p.m. at RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA
September 13
Virginia Street Construction Community Lunch at a surprise Midtown location
September 15
Enhanced RTC SIERRA SPIRIT transit service for the Wolf Pack home game vs. Oregon State
September 19
RTC ADA Transition Plan Update Open House
5-7 p.m. at the Discovery Museum
September 22
18 Around Midtown Mini Golf Extravaganza
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
Archived editions are available at: rtcwashoe.com.

Lee G. Gibson, AICP, Executive Director
Ph: (775) 348-0400 Fax: (775) 324-3503
E-mail: lgibson@rtcwashoe.com
Copyright © 2018 RTC, All rights reserved.


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