Reno officials are asking local residents to respond to an online survey about the preferred places to install protected bike/scooter paths along local streets.
The survey, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, will be available until June 30.
The City of Reno and the Regional Transportation Commission are seeking to “enhance the downtown roadway network in order to improve safety for all users and create a more welcoming environment” for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other “micromodes” including electric bikes and scooters.
The seven roadways shown on the map, above, are currently being considered for such micromode improvements. The streets include University Way/Center Street; Fifth Street; Sixth Street; Lake/Evans; Vine Street; and Virginia Street. Respondents are asked to rate each on a numerical scale of preferences.
Ky Plaskon, of the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance, said his group favors the University Way/Center Street route as the best connection between the University of Nevada, Reno and Midtown. That’s because the project, which has been on hold for two years, is the result of years of deliberation and its design phase is 30% complete.
The group also gives high ratings to Fifth Street, where a protected cycle lane has beebn installed as a pilot project, and to a route on Sixth Street.
The Alliance next gave preference to Lake/Evans route and the Vine Street corridor, with the Virginia Street route as lowest priority.
“The reasoning behind (our) priority list is (that) the University Way/Center Street option is the closest to completion, it is supported by studies, and is a major safety need between UNR, downtown, and Midtown,” Plaskon said.
He noted that at the end of the survey is a question about how local governments should develop those streets: fewer paths that are more expensive, or more paths that are cheaper.
The Alliance, he said, supports the “more paths for cheaper” option. “We must tell RTC to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer funds and develop safety measures faster,” Plaskon said. He noted the group has submitted a priority list to RTC, but a lot of those streets aren’t on the survey’s list – including connections to the airport and low-income neighborhoods.
“But (the survey’s options) are what we have to work with for now,” he said.
This project represents a recent shift in American transportation planning and roadway design which focuses on the needs of the bicyclists and pedestrians who may like to ride or walk but are currently hesitant to do so due to uncomfortable facilities and perceived unsafe roadway conditions, city officials said.