Lucas Collins has to cross north Virginia Street every day. He's a student who already has too many close calls to talk about. His last scare "Was a car coming this way, and I just had to zoom out of the way. It was about a month ago, but it happens all the time. You know this area here is kind of a blind spot, coming up around this corner. And it's where people start going faster."
Reno has its share of dangerous streets to cross, but looking south from where JK was hit at 17th Street, there's not a crosswalk in sight. Looking north, there's one about a half-mile up the road. Also, the accident happened around midnight, and there are few street lights in that area. At the Regional Transportation Commission, Project Manager Marchon Miller also said that drivers speeding on this stretch have long been an issue. "Yes, yes. Right now it's actually signed for 25 miles an hour."
But out of 12,000 cars that cross the intersection every day, too few follow that speed. Game day traffic, like last Saturday's, is even more dangerous, as streams of students cross at the same spot to celebrate at "The Wall" after a game.
RTC Director of Engineering Jeff Hale hears the frustration, but crosswalks are not easily installed. "We have a project, and it's just unfortunate we couldn't have gotten it out a bit sooner. Maybe we could have prevented this unfortunate accident."
That project, for a crosswalk and flashing lights at 17th Street, was planned over a year ago, and there is money to put it in. Still, the process is all-too lengthy after tragedies like this. Project Manager Miller told us, "We are going to try and do this as quickly as we can, as soon as we get approval from Reno City Council on Wednesday."
Marchon is going to the city council meeting herself to support it. Assuming it passes, then sewer work has to be done. They say it won't be until next August when the crosswalk will finally lessen the dangers at north Virginia Street.
KTVN has set up an account through Wells Fargo Banks for donations to JK Metzker's family. It will open for donations beginning Tuesday at any Wells Fargo location.
Donors should inform tellers the money is for a donation account and the name of the account is the ‘Metzker Family Fund.' (acct #5867974627)
A memorial service is being held this Friday at 2pm at Our Lady of the Snows at 1138 Wright Street.