RTC Rapid Transit Extension Project Brings Concerns About Design - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

RTC Rapid Transit Extension Project Brings Concerns About Design

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Residents in Midtown are voicing their concerns about the future of South Virginia Street.

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has been working with the public on the Rapid Transit Extension Project for several years now, but not everyone is happy with the design concept. At a board meeting on Thursday, several people were worried about access to businesses. However, the plans will stand as is. 

Improvements will be made on South Virginia Street between Plumb Lane and Liberty Street. Officials created a rendering of the redesign project. Wider sidewalks will be lined along the edge of the road, trees will be planted and a center-raised median will be built once construction starts early next year. 

Angela Watson, a resident and business owner in Midtown approves of the original design. She said, "I think those are the things that are going to make it safe and walkable, drivable, and bikeable for Midtown visitors."

The goal is to extend transit for buses, while also making roadway, bicycle and pedestrian improvements along South Virginia Street. On Thursday, the RTC board refused to reverse the approved design after several requests to do so. The biggest concern is whether to install a center median and eliminate left turn lanes. 

The project manager says there's only so much space to work with for improvements to be made. Doug Maloy said, "Parking is premium, folks have expressed their need to retain the parking in the area. So what had to give? Right now with this design, it was the two-way left turn lane."

Sixty percent of the design has been completed and if it were to be postponed, it could cost an additional $200,000 to tax payers if changes were to be made this far along into the project. The City of Reno owns the street and could revisit this issue at a later time.

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