Panel looks at pedestrian safety in Carson City

The citizens panel looking at setting priorities for fixing Carson City’s roads discussed ways to make streets safer for pedestrians.

Patrick Pittenger, transportation manager, told the Transportation Resource Advisory Forum for Carson City, or TRAFCC, Thursday the city had $600,000 in uncommitted funds and was evaluating ways to allocate it, including on pedestrian safety improvements, sidewalk maintenance and pavement projects.

The meeting focused on pedestrian safety projects, which could include pedestrian-actuated beacons like the flashing lights on Stewart Street near the Supreme Court; refuge islands in the middle of the road that makes it safer to cross wide streets; and concrete islands on the side of roads to narrow the distance for walkers.

“We want to be judicious with our application. We can’t have flashing lights everywhere,” Pittenger said.

He outlined a half dozen locations in the city where it can be particularly hazardous for people to cross the street, including Carson Street between Winnie Lane and Bath Street; Stewart Street at Little Lane; Carson and 10th streets; Koontz Lane near Edmonds Drive; and Fairview Drive at Gordon Street, where in March a pedestrian was killed after being hit by a car.

At that intersection, the city has already re-striped the crosswalk and added yield signs and yield indicators in the pavement.

After Labor Day, a contractor is starting work to bring electricity to the spot so streetlights can be installed at the crosswalk and near the intersection at Highway 50.

Panelists suggested other spots the city should consider, including Carson Street north of John Street, William Street at State Street near Mills Park and College Parkway near Northgate Lane.

Group members also did an exercise to see how they would prioritize spending.

Each participant was asked to divvy up a theoretical $100 between seven types of road projects.

The results for the group as a whole were $33 to road maintenance of arterial and connector streets, which make up 30 percent of the city’s roads but carry 70 percent of its traffic.

The remainder was allocated as follows: $19 to maintenance of local streets, $13 to safety improvements, $11 to adding new road capacity, $8 each to sidewalk improvements and sidewalk maintenance, and $7 to sidewalk connectivity. The next TRAFCC meeting is Sept. 22 at Fuji Park, during a public open house on the road study getting underway to design South Carson Street from 5th Street to the new freeway bypass at the Clear Creek interchange.


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