City, path proponents new plan

Carson City officials said Wednesday they will recommend that the city foot the bill for a multi-use path along the Carson City freeway.

City Manager John Berkich and supervisors Jon Plank and Robin Williamson met with path proponents Wednesday afternoon and worked out a new plan for supervisors to consider today.

The proposal now asks the Nevada Department of Transportation pay for retaining walls and leave the rest to Carson City, rather than asking the state pay for the path's construction.

Retaining walls along the path make up about $1.5 million of the path's costs, although the city parks department is working on obtaining easements that would lower the cost.

The city would also like the state to guarantee a minimum of 16 feet of the freeway right of way to build the path to national standards ,as well as guarantee some sort native landscaping plan.

The proposal was met with reluctant acceptance from groups working for the path.

"We've come to the table and made a compromise," pedestrian advocate Sue Newberry said.

A plan which surfaced Tuesday for the path shows the state building a portion of the path and then striping bike lanes on city streets including College Parkway.

The resolution stated that the state would plant 400 box trees along the path, but that information was in error on the city's part.

The state did not agree to put trees in the area, but is agreeing to top soil and native plants, Berkich said. Path supporters including members of Muscle Powered and Gardner's Reclaiming Our Waysides said the state's proposal was unacceptable and unsafe and amounted to striping bike lanes, not building the path called for in the city and state transportation plans.

Pictures surfaced during the meeting of a path the state constructed in Las Vegas by Interstate 15 which show a path between two fences, barren of landscaping.

"If we were to build anything like that we would be doing the community a disservice," Berkich said."I would rather see this as a project under local control where we can buy the path we want."

Berkich reiterated that the city's best bet is to go to the state with a recommendation supported by the state rather than asking the state board members to debate the issue. He also said the biggest concern for the state was the precedent paying for the path could set.

Whether the state will agree to the most recent proposal from the city is uncertain. The group believes, however, that if the retaining walls aren't built in Phase 1B, they won't be built and, therefore, the path couldn't be built. City supervisors will decide today at 8:30 a.m. which proposal will make it to the state transportation board on May 9.

If you go:

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: 8:30 a.m.

Where: the Community Center's Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.


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