Cyclists Push For More Access On Virginia Street

Aug 26, 2015

The Regional Transportation Committee held another public info meeting for its $60 million Virginia Street corridor project on Tuesday night.
Credit Julia Ritchey

Washoe County's Regional Transportation Committee held another public meeting Tuesday night on its ambitious $60 million project along the Virginia Street corridor. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and tells us some cycling advocates are disappointed with the lack of bike lanes.

The design phase of the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension project is about 15 percent complete, and project leaders hope to have a final version by next March. 

The vital corridor will see extended bus service, more bike lanes, improved pedestrian walkways and wider sidewalks. 

Howard Riedl is an engineer with the RTC. He says the goal is to make Virginia Street more accessible to all modes of transportation.

"It's very important because people don't have choices right now. Sidewalks in MidTown are in horrible conditions (and) people with disabilities can't utilize the sidewalks." 

However, cycling advocates at the meeting expressed concern that more bike lanes would not be incorporated in upper MidTown. Instead, engineers have opted for sharrows, which are lane markings for both motorists and bicycles.

Marlowe Kulley is a spokeswoman for the Great Streets Coalition, a cycling advocacy group.  

"A sharrow is better than nothing, but it's not really an improvement in terms of accessibility and safety for cyclists."

The corridor project is expected to cost around $60 million and construction will begin sometime in 2017.