Two roundabouts proposed in Carson City’s William Street Greening plan

Phil Erickson, of Community Design & Architecture, talks about William Street greening plan ideas on Wednesday.

Phil Erickson, of Community Design & Architecture, talks about William Street greening plan ideas on Wednesday.

One roundabout option became two and some other details changed in William Street Greening plan ideas, but safety, trees and public art places still dominated matters at a Wednesday open house.

The roundabout change stood out from ideas originally unveiled Monday. Still in the mix for Carson City’s main east-west arterial, after three days of meetings and brainstorming, are changes in the number of vehicular lanes with William Street narrowed as it approaches North Carson Street. The roundabouts would go at State Street and at the west entrance to Mills Park near the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

“You all are going to have to take these ideas and refine them into a more detailed plan,” said Phil Erickson of Community Design & Architecture, a Bay Area firm brought in by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities to help with initial concepts for the street’s change now that it’s a city roadway. It was U.S. Highway 50 under the Nevada Department of Transportation until recently.

There still would be six vehicular lanes near the Freeway, under the design, but that would change to four as vehicles headed west towards Mills Park and two, but with a center turn lane, closer to North Carson Street. Erickson said William Street traffic closer to the city core has dwindled and may even more as the Freeway is completed. Designs, he said, are aimed at greening, traffic calming and safety, and creating a sense of place.

Along with roundabouts, trees and other landscaping for an attractive business corridor, and safety features — including crosswalks for pedestrians seeking to reach Carson High School or Mills Park. These initial design concepts include bike lanes, additional parking for Mills Park, and stormwater runoff upgrades to address environmental concerns.

City government chose William Street for this charette process and the open house dialogues because the Board of Supervisors earlier decided to spruce up business areas along Carson Street, including downtown, and the William Street corridor. Community Development Director Lee Plemel made that point Wednesday after having noted at a Monday evening open house there wasn’t money yet for everything in the designs being shown.

On Wednesday, Abby Hall of the EPA and Erickson said the next steps are for the design team to refine its ideas and issue a final report to city government to help spur local design in even greater detail. Erickson also made the point there may be opportunities for grants or public-private financing partnerships to go with city funding already in the mix.

The board last year boosted city sales tax by one-eighth of a penny to back bonds that will help pay for the corridor upgrades and other capital improvement projects. A multi-purpose athletic center is under way, construction of an animal shelter is about to begin, downtown Carson Street work is slated for next year, and the other corridor is coming in subsequent years.

Hall, the EPA spokesperson, said the Office of Sustainable Communities does five Greening of America’s Capitals programs at a clip. Carson City joins Ohio’s Columbus, South Dakota’s Pierre, Virginia’s Richmond and Texas’s Austin.


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