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Your RTC. Our Community.
 
Sept 2016 Header
RTC Commissioners,

Below, you will find your September 2016 RTC Board Update e-News. This electronic newsletter will be distributed monthly following your Board meeting. 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

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Two staff members talks with members of the public
The RTC Board discuss the draft listing of 2040 RTP projects being considered.
RTC BOARD PROVIDES COMMENTS ON DRAFT 2040 RTP PROJECT LISTING
The RTC Board provided comments and direction to staff as the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is being developed.  Among other priorities, board members discussed the need for improvements at the Spaghetti Bowl and US 395.  Residents also provided input, many highlighting the need for additional safety and capacity projects in the community – particularly in the North Valleys.  The comments will be compiled into the final RTP, which is the long-range plan for the region.  The draft 2040 RTP will be considered at a future board meeting.  The Board’s comments follow seven forums and two public workshops.  Among the projects receiving high-support in the 2017 to 2021 timeframe are: the 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project, Spaghetti Bowl improvements and widening of Pyramid Way from Queen Way to Los Altos Parkway.  To view information presented to the Board and public during the RTP update process, click here.
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Two staff members talks with members of the public
Crews work on relocating a crosswalk for better pedestrian access near the Smith's grocery store near Sky Vista Parkway.
SPOT SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS BEGIN IN THE NORTH VALLEYS

Construction has started on spot safety improvements in the North Valleys.  These improvements will enhance safety and mobility for everyone.

Locations where pedestrian improvements will be taking place are:

  • Sky Vista Parkway – a crosswalk is being relocated between the Smith’s and Wal Mart to improve pedestrian access.
  • Stead Boulevard and Silver Lake Road – Curbs are being built out in order to shorten crossing distances and new flashing beacons are being installed near two schools.  Left turn pocket storage will be improved.
  • Golden Valley Drive and North Virginia Street – Enhancements will be made to better accommodate truck turning movements at this location.
  • Lemmon Drive and Surge Street – A pedestrian-activated flashing beacon will be installed.

The work will result in some periodic lane closures and the project will wrap up in about two months.  This is the first slate of short-term improvements in the North Valleys area as identified through safety analysis and public input as part of two separate studies: RTC’s North Valleys Regional Multimodal Study and NDOT’s Reno/Sparks Freeway Study.

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Conference attendees stand on a sidewalk in Rneo and listen to a presentation
RTC Project Manager Doug Maloy (right) led conference attendees on a tour of the midtown area, where future Complete Street improvements will take place.
BUILDING A STRONGER NEVADA CONFERENCE

The RTC joined with organizers of the Building a Stronger Nevada statewide economic conference to inform participants about how transportation supports economic development.  Attendees from throughout the state also learned about how Complete Streets enhance safety and mobility for everyone.  The conference program also featured topics in various industries and how initiatives and strategies can enhance economic vitality in Nevada communities.

RTC staff members led a walking tour of the Midtown District where the RTC is designing a Complete Street project and planning enhanced bus service.  They learned about how Complete Streets enhance safety and mobility for everyone in this developing area.  The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension project will improve connectivity between the UNR campus, downtown and Midtown.  Construction is slated to begin in 2018.  For more information, visit: http://virginiastreetrapidextension.com and read the accompanying article below.
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A bus crosses the intersection of North McCarran at North Virginia
New dual left turn lanes and traffic signal improvements have been installed at the North Virginia and North McCarran intersection.
RTC COMPLETING WORK AT NORTH VIRGINIA AND NORTH MCCARRAN
 
The RTC is wrapping up work at this busy intersection near the University of Nevada, Reno.  The intersection of North Virginia Street and North McCarran Boulevard was expanded to enhance capacity and safety.  New dual left turn lanes were added to three legs of the intersection.  A dual left turn lane was also added at Sierra Street and Virginia Street.  Additionally, the project completed unfinished sidewalks near the intersection.  The RTC will schedule a grand opening celebration once the project is completed in the next several weeks.  The project began construction in May and represents a $4 million investment for the region.
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An electric bus near UNR
RIDE THE SIERRA SPIRIT TO WOLF PACK GAMES
 
Everyone is charged up for Nevada!  Wolf Pack fans are encouraged to ride the RTC's downtown circulator SIERRA SPIRIT’s all-electric bus service to the home games.  A ride costs just 25 cents!  Discounts are available for seniors and youths (10 cents) and kids 5 and under ride for free!  The service spares you from finding on-campus parking, which is very limited, is convenient and affordable.  Plus, service is extended to midnight on the nights of Wolf Pack home football games.  Click here for route and schedule information.
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Several tents near I-80
Tents near the Virginia Street on-ramp for I-80 eastbound in Reno are creating safety concerns.
AGENCIES ADDRESS HOMELESS POPULATION LIVING IN I-80 RIGHT-OF-WAY
 
Agencies are responding to a recent increase in the homeless population living along I-80 in the public right-of-way.  At the RTC's September Board meeting, Chair Neoma Jardon explained the camps are creating a dangerous situation with individuals so near traffic moving at freeway speeds.

To address the issue, NDOT has partnered with the Nevada Highway Patrol, Reno and Sparks Police Departments and a local security firm in order to respond to immediate roadside hazards as part of a pilot program.  On average, NDOT maintenance employees devote 9,000 man hours to remove approximately 2,800 cubic yards of litter and debris every year from state roadsides across the Truckee Meadows. Area businesses also sponsor contract roadside litter removal on one-mile segments of Reno-Sparks and Carson City freeways through NDOT’s sponsor-a-highway program. Separately, NDOT has dedicated nearly $65,000 so far this year for removal of approximately 6,000 cubic feet of potentially hazardous debris, including human waste and drug paraphernalia, from downtown freeway underpasses and roadway structures. Contracted professional waste removal workers utilize biohazard suits and hazardous waste safety measures to protect both workers and the environment while cleaning.  This initiative serves to improve the safety for everyone.
Bus with hot air balloons
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RTC PARTNERSHIPS TRANSPORT THOUSANDS TO SPECIAL EVENTS

The RTC has formed community partnerships to support special events and encourage use of public transportation. In 2016, the RTC developed a partnership with The Nugget to provide shuttle service for thousands to the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off and Star Spangled Sparks.  Additionally, since the 1980s, the RTC has been providing transportation to the Great Reno Balloon Race and 2016 was another successful year.  3,491 rides were taken to and from the Great Reno Balloon Race on Saturday and Sunday of the event.  Supporting these events helps introduce members of the public to mass transit, who may not be regular RTC riders.
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RTC BOARD RECEIVES REPORT ON MEGAREGIONS
 
Megaregions have been defined as large networks of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas, connected through cultural, environmental and economic characteristics as well as major infrastructure.  The Reno-Sparks metropolitan area is widely accepted as belonging to the Northern California Megaregion.  As such, the Reno-Sparks area is both the entry point for domestic products being shipped overseas and the exit point for international trade being dispersed eastward to the rest of the nation.

Nevada is at the forefront of megaregion planning.  Nevada’s metropolitan planning organizations benefit from close cooperation with NDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, relationships not found in many other states.  The RTC specifically, has participated in initiatives such as the Western Regional Alliance, Trans Sierra Coalition, Shared Federal Framework, and I-11 Caucus.  In addition, the RTC has collaborated with NDOT on several other projects and plans that have implications for the Northern California Megaregion and the nation as a whole.  I will keep you informed as we continue work in this area.
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VIRGINIA STREET BUS RAPID TRANSIT EXTENSION PROJECT COMMENT PERIOD

As part of the environmental assessment for the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project, members of the public will have the opportunity to submit their comments.  The comment period will be coming up in the next few weeks.  The timeframe will be announced on virginiastreetrapidextension.com, which also features information and photo simulations of the completed project.  The goal of this project is to improve connectivity between the University of Nevada, Reno, downtown and Midtown through improved RAPID bus service and Complete Street enhancements.
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RTC BOARD MEETINGS RESCHEDULED
 
Beginning in 2017, the RTC Board meetings are being moved to the third Thursday of each month at 1 pm at the Washoe County Commission chambers at 1001 E. 9th Street in Reno in Building A.  However, the October meeting will be held on Friday, October 14th at 1:30 pm at the same location.  The November meeting will be a board workshop at the Best Western Airport Plaza Hotel at 9 am.  The December 16th meeting will be at 9 am at the Washoe County Commission Chambers, Building A, 1001 E. 9th Street in Reno.
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RTC TV Logo
The Road Ahead with RTC: Take SIERRA SPIRIT to the Nevada Game
Chad Hartley from Wolf Pack Athletics tells us about a great transportation option for home games
The Road Ahead with RTC: VANPOOL
RTC Trip Reduction Specialist Carol Perry explains the benefits and ease of forming a vanpool
Pyramid McCarran Paving Operations Begin
RTC Public Information Officer Joe Harrington has an update on paving operations at Pyramid and McCarran
SEC Phase 2 Flyover - August 2016
Watch the latest drone flyer of the SouthEast Connector project
The Road Ahead with RTC: Using Water Wisely at the SouthEast Connector
RTC Project Manager Garth Oksol tells us how water is being used wisely at the SouthEast Connector project
UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS
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      Oct. 19      
      Oct. 20      
      Oct. 28      
      Oct. 31      
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