Results of Virginia Street Corridor Study Released Tuesday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Results of Virginia Street Corridor Study Released Tuesday

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Over the past year, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has been researching possible changes to the Virginia Street Corridor.

Officials held another open house Tuesday. They discussed the recommended improvements with people who work and live along that stretch of road. It spans 11-miles from North McCarran Boulevard down to Mount Rose Highway.

It's still early in the planning process and RTC officials have been taking public feedback and using it to create some concepts for everyone to see in Tuesday's meeting. Those who came out also had a chance to give their input.

"It was good to see so many people come out and share some of their insights and provide some recommendations and questions," said Reno Councilwoman Sharon Zadra (Ward 2), and was among the dozens in attendance. "That's how you get a better project."

One of the proposed improvements is widening all the sidewalks in the Midtown Reno area. Officials say that will make it safer for pedestrians.

"Right now, they're very narrow," said Amy Cummings, Director of Planning for RTC. "We have obstructions on the sidewalk, and it's important we make those wheelchair accessible. So, widening those to about 6 feet, or a minimum of 6 feet, is one of the things we want to accomplish in this project."

We talked with Angela Watson, owner of Black Hole Body Piercing, at the last open house back in September. On Tuesday, she told us about how the RTC is doing a good job adjusting to some major needs of public safety for those who come to the area.

"I want to see them be able to travel from one end to the other to do shopping, and get something to eat, and stop by the different stores around here," she said. "And, be able to do that safely without having to travel into the traffic lanes, which is what you have to do right now."

The RTC is also looking to improve lighting, make the speed limit slower (to around 25 MPH) and beautify the Midtown area. Business owners like Watson say it would help attract more people to the area."

"There was some really nice trees and things like that that they added in, public spaces" Watson said. "I would hope that would make it into the final version."

The RTC is also looking to connect the University of Nevada to the Midtown and downtown areas through bike paths along Evans Avenue.

"Students really want a better way to get back and forth from their bikes on campus to the rest of town," Cummings said.

Officials also want to extend its Rapid bus services.

"We're proposing two new station areas, one to serve the south end of campus, and one up near Lawlor Events Center," she said.

From here, RTC officials say they're going to look at the environmental impact before making the final design. Construction is set to begin in the next three to four years.

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