Midtown Business Owners Weigh in on City of Reno Proposal to Add - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Midtown Business Owners Weigh in on City of Reno Proposal to Add More Parking

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A major Reno street is up for potential changes, which could mean more parking for the Midtown area, which many agree is really hard to find.

"We got so lucky with this spot, and everyone's so nice," said Emily Felch, co-owner of the Natural Selection curiosity shop (39 Saint Lawrence Avenue). "We have so many people come by each day."

The Felch family is getting ready for their grand opening on Friday, and they've already seen how busy Midtown can get.

"I notice that people seem to be willing to park far away and still walk around with the shops and businesses coming in too," said Marcy Felch, Emily's mother. "It makes it more appealing."

Many agree it's pedestrian-oriented, but for those who need to drive to Midtown, parking can be a problem. Recently, business owners reached out to the city of Reno about finding a solution to better accommodate their customers. That's why officials recently proposed adding 14 new parking spaces by turning the two-lane Center Street into one lane between South Virginia Street, where Junkee Clothing Exchange is located (960 South Virginia Street), to Taylor Street, where Brasserie Saint James is found (901 South Center Street).

"In order to allow parking on both sides of Center Street, we'd have to eliminate one travel lane on Center Street because of restraints in the roadway width," said Kurt Dietrich, Associate Civil Engineer with the City of Reno.

On Wednesday, a public meeting was held at Reno City Hall where officials talked with Midtown business owners and residents about their proposal. Many were in support of it, like Mike Curatello, co-owner of Nightmare Studios Tattoo (888 South Virginia Street).

"I live in Midtown," he said. "I ride down the street all the time, and I've seen and almost got hit turning left onto Center Street all the time. People will just fly through there with two lanes. I think one lane will slow it down."

But, others had some concerns like traffic jams and possibly more pedestrian-related accidents. They say more planning needs to be done.

"It needs more paths," said Bill Swope. "It needs less traffic. If you're going to take down that Center Street to one lane. That's going to affect people getting off of Virginia and relieving the traffic for it."

As of right now, the city says it's all still in the preliminary stages, and there's no set time frame for any construction if it gets through city council.

"If the community shows an interest in creating parking there, we'd like to study that a little further," Dietrich said. "Look at some counts and see if that's viable. If it is, we'd like to move forward with a larger public meeting as a whole."

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