Council Considers Roundabouts on West 4th Street to Decrease Ped - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Council Considers Roundabouts on West 4th Street to Decrease Pedestrian Accidents

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In 2016, two pedestrians were killed at the intersection of West 4th Street and Washington Street in Reno. Now, the city is putting a plan in place to make the intersection safer for pedestrians and drivers. 

On Wednesday, Reno's City Council agreed to consider the installation of a roundabout in an effort to curb the amount of accidents at the intersection. 

This comes after the city's Pedestrian Safety Action Plan identified 4th Street as the highest risk roadway in the city, with almost 40 pedestrian crashes in the last five years alone. 

We spoke with Paula Penrod, whose son is one of many pedestrians hit and killed at the intersection. She recounts, "He was killed by a taxi cab driver who ran the stop sign at the corner here at 4th and Washington Street."

Since his death in 2011, Penrod has been vocal with the City of Reno, trying to get a traffic signal installed at the intersection. 

While plans were in the works for a signal light--that project has been put on hold, for now. With the roundabout consideration, the city hopes to calm traffic, slow speeding drivers and increase overall pedestrian safety. 

There would be interim improvements while traffic analysis and plans become finalized. Those would include additional striping, flashers, signage, medians and a pedestrian refuge island.

Andy Durling, the Director of Planning for Wood Rodgers, who is helping with the project design explains the island, "So pedestrians don't have to cross basically all 5 lanes of traffic."

It would also restrict left turns and through traffic from Washington Street. 

The company working on the roundabout, Jacobs Improvements, have 24 months to get the project done. They are the same company leading the entire redevelopment project for the 4th Street area. 

A roundabout would also be installed at the intersection of 4th Street and Ralston Street.

Construction on these improvements will begin once the City of Reno gives the company a permit after final approval.

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