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Your RTC. Our Community.


June 2019

RTC Commissioners, below you will find your June 2019 RTC Board Update eNews. This electronic newsletter is distributed monthly following your board meeting.
Virginia Street Project Update - June 21, 2019
Watch our weekly Virginia Street Project videos for construction information and important project updates.

Virginia Street Project Construction Update
 

Construction on phase two of the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project began on Monday, June 17, 2019. During this phase of the construction, the community will start to see the corridor transform, including new, wide sidewalks, landscaping, new street lighting, new and updated transit stations, and significant safety improvements.

Construction has started on Virginia Street at Mt. Rose Street and crews are working south to Plumb Lane. Crews are also working on nine side streets throughout the corridor during this segment of construction. Construction operations will occur on one side of Virginia Street in segments (east or west) and then switch. Construction on Tahoe St., St. Lawrence Ave., Moran St., E. Taylor St., Martin St. and Caliente St. will take place between June and September 2019. Construction on Stewart St., Cheney St. and Arroyo St. will take place between August and October 2019. No two consecutive side streets will be closed at the same time. Please see the traffic control map below to learn more about how to easily navigate Midtown during construction. 


Construction at the northern section of the project by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) will begin in spring 2020.

The RTC’s project team will have crews working Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. to expedite construction operations. Completion of the entire project is expected to wrap up in winter of 2020, weather permitting.

The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project will improve safety in the corridor and provide better access, enhanced transit service and mobility for everyone. This includes extending the RAPID Virginia Line from Midtown to UNR and installing new bus RAPID transit stations in Midtown and at UNR. The project represents a more-than-$87 million investment in the region.

Project Schedule:
  • Summer through fall 2019 - Work on nine side streets in Midtown and work on Virginia Street from Mt. Rose Street to Plumb Lane.
  • Winter 2019 through spring 2020 - Work on Virginia Street sidewalks and paving from Mt. Rose Street northward.
  • Spring through winter 2020 - Work on Virginia Street sidewalks and paving continuing northward to Liberty Street and the installation of a roundabout at Center Street.
  • Spring 2020 through fall 2020 - University of Nevada, Reno, road work and transit stations begin.
Start-of-Construction Celebration:
The community is invited to attend a start-of-construction celebration on Friday, June 28, at 11 a.m. at South Virginia Plaza (1501 S. Virginia St.). The event will celebrate the beginning of the project and speakers include U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei, State Assemblywoman Sarah Peters, RTC Board Commission Chair Bob Lucey, Reno City Councilwoman Neoma Jardon, Reno City Councilman Oscar Delgado, UNR Executive Director of External Relations Heidi Gansert and more! 

Project Information Office:
The project team opened a new project office in Midtown located in the lot just north of the Z Bar starting on June 13. Starting July 1, office hours will be Tuesdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Thursdays from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. and by appointment. The team held an ice cream social event at the project information office on Tuesday, June 25, to introduce the office to the community.

The project information office is open to provide the community and local business owners another way to learn about the project throughout construction. The office will give people the opportunity to speak with a project representative in person, view maps and graphics, request information and learn about construction schedules, activities, traffic control, and transit detours.

The opening of the project information office is yet another means to keep stakeholders engaged and informed about the Virginia Street Project and to provide them access to the project team. The RTC has been hosting bi-weekly informational meetings in Midtown at The Saint since mid-March and the project information office is an extension of that ongoing engagement and an opportunity to ask questions and receive project information.

How to get to Midtown during construction:
During the first segment of construction, Virginia Street will be open to southbound traffic only from Mt. Rose Street/Holcomb Avenue to Plumb Lane. Northbound traffic will be detoured at Wells Avenue to Vassar Street. When Wells Ave. closes for construction, the segment will temporarily reopen to two-way traffic. Side streets that are under construction will be closed to through traffic. All businesses will be open and accessible during construction.

Transit Detours:
Route 1 and RAPID Virginia Line northbound routes are on partial detours during construction. Route 1 and RAPID Virginia Line will use Wells Avenue to Vesta Street to Holcomb Avenue. Virginia Line will continue to Burns Street then Center Street then back to its regular route. Route 1 will turn left on Vassar Street, then right back to Virginia Street to continue the regular route. Route 1 will service the temporary stop at Holcomb Avenue and Arroyo Street.

Parking:
Designated Midtown parking will be provided by SNC at the marked parking lot at Forest Street and Tahoe Street behind the Ponderosa Hotel.

Lyft:
Get 50% off your Lyft rideshare to Midtown, up to $10 off, using code RAPID in the promo section of the app. The code is valid for trips into the Midtown area within the construction zone. The code is valid for trips originating from anywhere in our community that is outside of the Midtown District.

Valid drop-off locations include anywhere on South Virginia Street between Liberty Street and Plumb Lane, and some additional areas along that corridor. See map of valid drop-off locations.

 
More information:

For more information about the Virginia Street Project, visit VirginiaStreetProject.com, text VIRGINIA to 797979, sign up for weekly stakeholder updates, watch weekly project update videos, attend project update meetings on select Thursdays at The Saint in Midtown, or follow RTC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Learn More at VirginiaStreetProject.com

RTC California/Keystone Improvements Underway

 
The RTC started construction on Monday, June 10, to improve the California Avenue/Keystone Avenue intersection. Detours are in effect.
  • California Ave. is open to traffic in both directions in the construction zone.
  • Booth Street will be closed in both directions from California Ave. to Foster Dr. during this same time period.
  • Keystone Ave. will also remain closed to northbound traffic from Booth St. to Riverside Dr.
  • Keystone Ave. is not accessible from California Ave.
The project will improve safety and access for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians at this busy intersection. In addition to traffic-safety improvements and new bike lanes, the RTC will widen sidewalks and add pedestrian ramps at the intersection to improve pedestrian safety and access for everyone in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The stairs connecting California Avenue to Keystone Avenue will also be partially reconstructed as part of the project.

The California/Keystone intersection will close to traffic in mid-July as crews work to expedite the construction process.

The work is taking place during Reno High School’s summer break to ease the impact on commuters. Closing the intersection will allow crews to complete the work in half the time it would take if the intersection remained partially open.

Due to dangerous construction-zone conditions, the intersection will be closed during construction to all pedestrians, bicyclists and cars for the safety of the community and construction crews.

The project represents a $2.5 million investment in our community.
Learn More at rtcwashoe.com

UNR and TMCC Students, Staff RIDE Free


UNR and TMCC students, faculty and staff have a new, free transportation option as of July 1. It’s called a U-Pass for UNR and an ED-Pass for TMCC and they are now able to use their UNR or TMCC IDs to RIDE any of RTC’s fixed-route buses for free. The RTC is excited about this new program and its potential to increase ridership and reduce congestion in our community.

When you consider the costs of insurance, parking, gas, and vehicle maintenance, taking the bus can really save you some money. Additionally, the RTC anticipates the program could lead to less traffic congestion on campus, better parking due to a reduced number of cars around campus, reduced carbon emissions, and better public transportation awareness and ridership.

New transit riders can visit rtcwashoe.com to plan their trips. They can also call RTC at 775-348-RIDE and customer service agents can help you plan your trip.

Information is available at rtcwashoe.com and at the parking and transportation offices at UNR and TMCC.
Learn More at rtcwashoe.com

RTC Begins University-Area Transportation Study

 
The RTC is welcoming community input as we continue the University-Area Transportation Study. The community is invited to a public meeting on Thursday, June 27, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, located at 1301 Valley Road in Reno. The RTC also plans to livestream the meeting on its Facebook page.

The RTC is working to identify ways to improve mobility around the University of Nevada, Reno. The university area is a growing part of our community and the RTC is working to study that area to improve connectivity, safety, mobility, and access for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and drivers as development occurs.

The project will include the study of multimodal transportation and the roadway operations in the area surrounding the UNR campus. This study will consider the current- and future-development plans slated to occur on or near the UNR campus within the study area in the coming years. It will identify needed connectivity, safety, and access improvements for alternative-transportation modes on regional roads within the study focus area.

The RTC is currently conducting outreach in the university area to ask students, faculty, campus visitors, and residents about issues they have experienced, what improvements they would like to see, and what concerns they have within the study area.

To learn more about the RTC’s University-Area Transportation Study, please visit https://www.rtcwashoe.com/mpo-corridor-plan/rtc-university-area-transportation-study/. A survey will also be available to the community on RTC’s website starting on June 27 following the public meeting.

A draft of the final report is anticipated in January 2020.
Learn More at rtcwashoe.com

Don't Drive, Arrive! to Star Spangled Sparks

 
Don’t Drive, Arrive! to see the fireworks at the Nugget’s Star Spangled Sparks fireworks show on the 4th of July. There are alternatives to driving your car to the event.

FREE Event Shuttles:
Free shuttles will take passengers to RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA in Sparks from 6 p.m. until midnight on July 4. Shuttle service will run from two locations:
  • Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, 1350 N. Wells Avenue in Reno (Provided by All West Coachlines and the RTC and sponsored by the Nugget.)
  • Sparks Christian Fellowship, 510 Greenbrae Drive in Sparks (Provided by All West Coachlines and sponsored by the Nugget.)
Transit:
Regular RTC transit services at RTC 4TH STREET STATION and RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA will be on a Sunday schedule. Plan your trip at rtcwashoe.com. Fares begin at $2 for a single ride and people can purchase passes on their smartphones by downloading the Token Transit app.

RTC service is free for people riding the event shuttle to Star Spangled Sparks. All other transit services will cost the usual fare.

Event Details:
To learn more about the Nugget’s Star Spangled Sparks event, visit: http://www.nuggetcasinoresort.com/events-en.html.

Don't Drive, Arrive!
Special events are fun to attend, but parking can be a challenge. Sometimes we even get traffic jams due to special events. So, we want to remind everyone: Don’t Drive, Arrive! That means, think about other ways you can get to special events besides driving. Walking, biking and shuttles are great options that are healthy and help keep our air cleaner. Many special events are served by the RTC.  You can see a list of special events and routes that serve those events by going to dontdrivearrive.com.

RTC Launches SMART TRIPS App


The RTC is launching a new smartphone app called RTC Smart Trips. The app is designed to help locals and tourists navigate the different transportation options in our community using one convenient app.

The app is a product that operates at a high-level for visitors, but also offers user accounts for commuters. A visitor can get all the information for getting around town, or up to and around Lake Tahoe without a car on the app. They don’t have to register or sign up to get the information they need. There is even a link to the airport so visitors can check their flights.

You can find your bus, buy the pass and see when the next bus is coming, all on the app. For locals, you can do everything on the app that you can on the website. There is a commute calendar for logging your trips and tracking your savings. Now you will be able to do everything on your smart phone.

The app is available now for iPhone and Andriod. Just search "RTC Smart Trips."

RTC Seeks Members for Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee


The RTC is committed to being open and transparent with the public to support the regional transportation planning process. As part of that process, we always look for ways to involve the public throughout the development of any document, project, plan or policy. We’re currently seeking people to join our Citizens Multimodal Advisory Committee (CMAC).

We have an extensive community-outreach process at the RTC, and we want to understand the region’s diverse and complex transportation needs through a people-based approach. Effective transportation planning requires involvement from community stakeholders. Collaboration with the public allows for innovative ideas to emerge that address complex transportation issues. It also helps RTC develop strong community support during our outreach process.

We’re looking for people who have a vested interest in improving transportation for everyone in our community. If you’re a transit passenger, bicyclist, pedestrian, RTC ACCESS user, or just have great ideas to improve transportation, we encourage you to apply using the link below.
Apply now at rtcwashoe.com

RTC Director of Public Transportation and Operations David Jickling Retires


The RTC congratulates David Jickling, Director of Public Transportation and Operations, on his retirement after serving our community for the past 28 years.

David Jickling has worked for the RTC since 1991. He began his career in multimodal transportation planning and transit operations at the City of Tucson. David was appointed RTC’s first Director of Public Transportation in November 2001, assuming responsibility for operational planning and management of all contracted public transportation functions of the RTC. In 2010, transit capital and facilities maintenance responsibilities were moved into the department, which was renamed Public Transportation and Operations.

David was responsible for pioneering RTC's electric bus program to help with air quality in our region and save taxpayer dollars. David's commitment to sustainability and critical-thinking skills will be missed at the RTC.

The RTC and our community thank him for his public service and commitment to our community.

NDOT Invites Community to Tahoe East Shore Trail Dedication Ceremony


WHAT:          
Free public event to officially dedicate a new three-mile shared-use path alongside State Route 28 from the southern end of Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park.

WHO:
The Incline community, including many of the 550 private donors who contributed to the project. Participants will be able to walk or bike the trail right after the event.

Brief remarks are scheduled to be provided by:
•    Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak
•    Kristina Swallow, Nevada Department of Transportation: Emcee/ Introduction
•    Marsha Berkbigler, Washoe County Commissioner
•    Carl Hasty, District Manager, Tahoe Transportation District
•    Jeff Marsolais, Forest Supervisor, USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
•    Brian Dowd, Granite Construction Company
•    Joanne Marchetta, Executive Director, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

WHEN:          
June 28, 2019
Brief remarks at 3:30 p.m.
Ribbon cutting to follow
Participants will be able to walk or bike the trail right after the event.  
RSVP preferred. Use this link to RSVP.

WHERE:       
Northern Trailhead of the Tahoe East Shore Trail located next to the Tunnel Creek Café (1115 Tunnel Creek Rd, Incline Village, NV 89451)

PUBLIC parking is not available at the event location. Public parking will be available at the Diamond Peak Ski Resort parking lot, 1210 Ski Way, Incline Village, NV. 89451. Shuttle rotations will begin from the Diamond Peak Ski Resort parking lot to the event site at 1:15 p.m. with the last departure scheduled for 3 p.m. Shuttles will return participants to the ski resort parking lot following the event. For those who would like to walk or ride the trail to the end, there will also be bus pick up from Sand Harbor up until 7 p.m. Public who have special needs or require disabled parking can contact Kelly Houston: khouston@sjmarketing.com.
 
MORE INFO:           
Begun in 2016, the multi-year project has constructed a three-mile shared-use path from the southern end of Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park.  

The new pathway by contractor Granite Construction will enhance safety and mobility for everyone on the roadway. More than 2.5 million vehicles a year travel on State Route 28, mixing with as many as 2,000 pedestrians and bicyclists who park and recreate near the roadside on peak days, creating safety and accessibility concerns on the mountain highway. Three new parking areas near the Ponderosa Ranch and Tunnel Creek Café will also provide safer parking options.

The project improves safety for all users, access to popular recreational destinations, and help to protect and preserve Lake Tahoe’s renowned water quality and clarity. Project elements and associated benefits include:
  • Shared-use path — safe, non-motorized alternative transportation options and improved visitor experience
  • Relocated shoulder-parking to new or expanded off-highway parking with connectivity to shared-use path — safe and improved access to popular recreation destinations; reduced roadway shoulder degradation/erosion and associated fine sediment run-off improving water quality and protecting lake clarity alternative transportation options to popular recreation destinations, potentially reducing traffic congestion
  • Maintenance and emergency pullouts — provide safe locations for distressed motorists and highway maintenance vehicle staging, minimizing planned and unplanned lane closures and improving overall traffic circulation
  • East Shore Express Transit improvements — improved service providing safe,alternative transportation options to popular recreation destinations, potentially reducing traffic congestion.
Learn more at NevadaDOT.com

Upcoming Events and Meetings

June 27
University-Area Transportation Study Community Meeting
Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 5:30-7 p.m.
June 28
Virginia Street Project Start-of-Construction Ceremony
11 a.m. at South Virginia Plaza
July 1
Free transit with UNR or TMCC ID begins
July 4
RTC Administrative Offices Closed
Transit Operates on a Sunday Schedule
July 4
Don't Drive, Arrive! to Star Spangled Sparks
Free Shuttles 6 p.m. to Midnight from:
- Reno Sparks Livestock Events Center
- Sparks Christian Fellowship
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 © 2019 RTC, All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2019 RTC, All rights reserved.


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