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Your RTC. Our Community.


May 2019

RTC Commissioners, below you will find your May 2019 RTC Board Update eNews. This electronic newsletter is distributed monthly following your board meeting.
Virginia Street Project: Flyover Simulation

Virginia Street Project Construction
Set to Start June 17

 

Construction on phase two of the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project is set to start on Monday, June 17, 2019. The United States Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued a Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) to the RTC, authorizing the RTC to incur costs for early construction activities for the project.

The RTC received a $40.4-million allocation from the FTA in April 2019. The LONP is the next step in the RTC’s federal funding path toward a Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program agreement anticipated to be received this summer. The LONP permits the RTC to incur reimbursable costs for the Virginia Street project prior to receiving the CIG funding.

On May 15 and 17, members of the project team walked Midtown to visit businesses and residents who will be impacted by construction in the first segment of construction. The team distributed a flier of the construction timeline including traffic control information as well as different options for information, communication and contact information. Construction operations will first take place on Virginia Street between Mt. Rose Street and Plumb Lane and on nine side streets. This work will last through fall of 2019. The RTC will do similar outreach as the project progresses to other segments.

The RTC has also held seven recent weekly and biweekly community meetings about the Virginia Street Project. The meetings serve as a place to tell business owners and residents about upcoming construction operations and traffic control, receive input and continue the two-way dialogue and communications between the RTC and the community. 


The first part of construction included utility relocations and upgrades that took place mostly underground. When the next phase of construction begins, the transformation of Virginia Street will begin, with a majority of the work taking place at road level. During this next 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.

At this time, the preliminary work plan includes beginning construction on Virginia Street at Mt. Rose Street and working south to Plumb Lane. Crews will also work on nine side streets throughout the corridor. 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, or watch the video below, to learn more about how to easily navigate Midtown during construction. 

The RTC’s project team will have multiple crews working at the same time 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-$80 million investment in the region.

Tentative 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 roadway reconstruction and transit stations begin.
Project Office Opens June 13: 
The project team is opening a new project office in Midtown located in the lot just north of the Z Bar starting on June 13. The project's office hours will be Tuesdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Thursdays from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. and by appointment. 

 
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.
Construction starts June 17. Watch the video for a quick overview of what to expect and how to navigate Midtown during construction.
Learn More at VirginiaStreetProject.com
RTC 2018 Annual Report Video

RTC 2018 Annual Report

 
The RTC 2018 Annual Report was presented to the RTC Board at its May 20 meeting.  The report highlights calendar year 2018 accomplishments and activities achieved through the RTC Board's vision and leadership.

Among the highlights detailed in the annual report are:
  • The grand opening celebrations of two major projects, the SouthEast Connector and the 4th Street / Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project.
  • In calendar year 2018, there were 194 public meetings, presentations, and other events (average 3.73 days/week). This represents a 9% increase over 2017 in community outreach and engagement. September was our busiest month with 31 events held, almost one event per day.
  • RTC's social media engagement reached over 679,000 impressions on Facebook and more than 377,000 impressions on Twitter.
  • RTC completed and initiated nine planning studies, including the Washoe County Regional Travel Characteristics Survey, the ADA Transition Plan, and the Vision Zero Truckee Meadows Task Force.
  • In public transportation, the RTC expanded our electric bus program with new charging infrastructure and the delivery of 17 new electric buses; the addition of 23 new VANPOOLs. VANPOOLs are the fastest-growing segment of our public transportation program. The RTC also added 460 new commuters to the ride-share program. Together, this is removing hundreds of cars from our roadways, which helps our air quality and reduces traffic congestion.
  • The RTC completed the North Valleys Phase 2 improvements, the Evans Avenue bike and pedestrian improvements, and a number of safety improvements including the construction of 211 new pedestrian ramps, almost 6 miles of multi-use pathways, more than 17 miles of new bike lines added, and 3.2 miles of new sidewalks.
Our thanks and appreciation to our regional partners and the community for their support and participation in helping us develop and deliver the transportation projects and systems needed in the region. The 2018 Annual Report video is available to watch now, in the video above this article. The hard copy report is being printed and will be available soon. 

Stuff A Bus for Seniors


RTC celebrates Older Americans Month in Washoe County during the month of May with the annual Stuff A Bus for Seniors event. The RTC Board issued a resolution at its April meeting marking May 2019 as Older Americans Month in Washoe County. 

As part of Older Americans Month, the RTC partnered with Washoe County, Washoe County Human Services Agency, the City of Reno, the City of Sparks, KOLO Cares, Sam's Club, Reno Aces, Reno 1868 FC, and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada to fill a bus with community donations for our local seniors. RTC employees raised funds to purchase 63 seven-day bus passes for our seniors.

New, unused donations were accepted at the drive-by donation event. There was an outpouring of community support for this year's Stuff A Bus event and donations far exceeded last year's donations. The RTC and its partners would like to thank the community for their generosity to help our seniors!

 
For a complete list of all Older Americans Month activities, visit WashoeCounty.us/SeniorSrv.
Learn More at WashoeCounty.us

RTC Adds Green Bike Lanes Throughout the Community

 
The RTC recently added green bike lanes to many roadways in our community. One of the main goals of these new green bike lanes is to highlight bicycle safety and space in transition zones to make drivers even more aware of bicyclists. As our community grows, it is more important than ever for people to prioritize other modes of transportation besides a car. The RTC wants to make it easier and safer for people to ride their bikes to get where they are going.

There are 40 new locations with green bike lanes and you will see them throughout our community. We partnered with our local jurisdictions in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County to place them regionwide. You will see a large green area in an existing bike lane with an arrow and bicyclist. They have been placed in some of the busiest bicycling areas and intersections in our community to help improve safety.

The RTC supports and promotes a culture of roadway safety in our community. Green bike lanes promote bicyclist visibility and safety. Most people in our community are drivers, but we would like to see more people on bikes. Not only is biking a healthy activity, but when you commute on your bike, you help the environment and help decongest our roadways.

This project represents a $180,000 investment in our region to help people stay safe. The funding came from a federal grant that was allocated by NDOT.

RTC Holds Open Houses for Fall Service Change

 
The RTC is welcoming community input as we begin to develop a transit service change that could be implemented this fall.

The RTC is proposing route and timing changes, including introducing improved crosstown transit services to improve passenger travel times and allow for more connectivity with the RTC’s RAPID Virginia Line and RAPID Lincoln Line services.

The RTC is considering the following service changes:
  • Route 6: Introduction of a revised Route 6 in Reno, joined with Route 19, serving the east side of Virginia Street along Plumas Street, Moana Lane, Lakeside Drive, and Brinkby Avenue and the west side of Virginia Street via Grove Street, Harvard Way, Vassar Street, Terminal Way, and looping through the Reno-Tahoe International Airport
  • Route 9: Route 9 would terminate at Battle Born Way and Prater Way at the north end and terminate at the south end of Kietzke Lane at the last roundabout. Route 9 would connect to the RAPID Lincoln Line at Kitezke Lane and Prater Way and to the RAPID Virginia Line at Virginia Street and Peckham Lane.
  • Route 19: Route 19 would join Route 6 at Plumb Lane, Virginia Street, and Grove Street, allowing connections with the RAPID Virginia Line - on Virginia Street between Plumb Lane and Grove Street.
  • SIERRA SPIRIT/Route 10: Extension of the SIERRA SPIRIT route to Plumb Lane and Virginia Street. SIERRA SPIRIT would no longer stop at RTC 4TH STREET STATION. The route would connect UNR with Midtown Reno and be renamed Route 10.
  • Microtransit: Implementation of a new microtransit service pilot program in the Sparks area that allows passengers to request rides on their smartphones using an app, or by calling RTC directly. A microtransit van would pick a passenger up at the closest curbside location within the service area, and drop the passenger off at the closest curbside to his or her destination within the service area, and vice versa.
The RTC analyzes its transit operations to maximize resources and efficiency to provide quality customer service to riders. This involves tracking ridership data and allocating buses and other resources to more productive routes for efficiency and operating within financial constraints.

The RTC asked for feedback at two recent open houses in Reno and Sparks. Anyone who would like to provide additional feedback is asked to contact RTC Transit Planner Michael Dulude at mdulude@rtcwashoe.com or (775) 335-1904.

The RTC will present the proposed transit service changes and the public input they receive to the RTC Board on July 19, 2019. The RTC Board will then give direction and possible approval.
 

RTC Begins University-Area Transportation Study

 
The RTC is working to identify ways to improve mobility around the University of Nevada, Reno as part of its University-Area Transportation Study. The university area is a growing part of our community. Right now, the RTC is working to study that area so that they can improve connectivity, safety, mobility, and access for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and drivers as development occurs south of the UNR campus.

The project will include the study of multimodal transportation and the roadway operations in the area surrounding and within 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 and 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. Please join us on Thursday, June 27, at Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center from 5:30-7 p.m. for a community meeting to learn more.

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

Vision Zero Website Launches


Visit the newly launched Vision Zero Truckee Meadows website to learn about how we are working to decrease the number of crashes in our community and improve safety for pedestrians and all road users. The website contains important safety information and provides a place to report areas of our community that need improvements, or where there are near misses.

Vision Zero Truckee Meadows is a regional task force that has made a commitment to take action to bring the number of fatalities and serious-injury crashes on our roadways to zero. The task force is using data to make equitable and transparent decisions to improve safety throughout our community.
Learn More at VisionZeroTruckeeMeadows.com

RTC June Board Meeting Date, Time Change


The RTC monthly board meeting will be held on Thursday, June 20 at 1 p.m. at Washoe County Commission Chambers, located at 1001 E. 9th Street in Reno.

NDOT Alerts Drivers and Businesses to Prepare for Upcoming I-580 Exit Number Change


The Nevada Department of Transportation is alerting drivers and organizations to prepare for an upcoming change to exit numbers on Interstate 580 from South Carson Street in Carson City to the Reno spaghetti bowl.

NDOT encourages organizations to prepare to update any advertising, mapping or other logistics as existing I-580 exit numbers change beginning this summer. Drivers in Carson City will see the exit numbers change beginning this summer. I-580 exit numbers from Washoe Valley to the Reno spaghetti bowl are anticipated to change beginning in the fall.

The current exit numbers range from 38 to 68B, and will be replaced with new, lower exit numbers corresponding with roadway mileage, beginning at the southern end of the I-580 Carson City Freeway and progressing north to the Reno spaghetti bowl. The roadway names will remain the same.

The exit numbers are being changed per federal requirements. The federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ensures that freeway signs and mileposts are consistent nationwide to convey a clear message and help guide, warn and regulate traffic. Federal guidelines require interstate exit numbers to reflect mileage specific to that corridor. Current I-580 exit numbers reflect U.S. 395 mileage beginning at the Nevada-California state line near Topaz Lake. Now that the I-580 connection from the Reno spaghetti bowl to south Carson City is complete and supersedes the previous U.S. 395 designation, exit numbers are being changed to reflect interstate mileage beginning at the I-580 junction with south Carson Street and ending at the Reno spaghetti bowl.

Small exit number sign panels at the top of overhead signs will be replaced, as well as roadside exit number signs at each exit, to reflect the new exit numbers.

First responders will be alerted prior to specific exit number changes, and electronic roadside signs will be placed during exit number sign changes to alert drivers of the change.

Information and a map of the future interstate exit numbers is available at nevadadot.com/exit.
Learn more at NevadaDOT.com

Upcoming Events and Meetings

June 5
RTC Quarterly Update at Reno City Council Meeting
10 a.m. at Reno City Council Chamber, 1 E. 1st Street in Reno
June 13
Virginia Street Project Community Meeting
9 a.m. at The Saint, 761 S. Virginia in Midtown
June 13
Virginia Street Project Office Opens
Location: Lot on Virginia Street just north of Z Bar
Hours: Tuesdays 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Thursdays 1 - 5 p.m.
June 17
Virginia Street Project Phase II Construction Begins
June 20
Virginia Street Project Community Meeting
9 a.m. at The Saint, 761 S. Virginia in Midtown
June 27
University-Area Transportation Study Community Meeting
Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 5:30-7 p.m.
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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