Spring has sprung, winter is history and hikers/bikers are out in force again — but at the Legislature?
April 24, 2013
Carson City's Muscle-Powered group and other organizations will tout safe walking and biking today at the Legislature, in part as a prelude to National Bike Month in May.
The event also recognizes "Nevada Moves Day" and is in the west foyer of the Legislative Building. The organization known formally as Muscle-Powered Citizens for a Walkable and Bikeable Carson City will set up a display and pass out information, plus hold a spinning bike competition involving legislators to encourage friendly rivalries while promoting fitness.
"We're seeing it as a kickoff to Bike Month," said Anne Macquarie of Carson City, Muscle-Powered founder and board member. She also said legislative interest by her group and partners includes Assembly Bill 145, which promotes a concept known as complete streets to handle all modes of traffic safely — vehicles, walkers, bikers, etc.
"That bill is still in play," she said, but added it may face tough sledding. "It's got a pretty big fiscal note, which is going to make it difficult to pass."
The fun in the west foyer at the Nevada legislative building begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m., according to Macquarie. Donna Inversin, current Muscle-Powered president, said the Nevada Moves Day event will have children across the state walking to school, but she also noted Carson City won't be participating directly in that aspect.
Even so, said Inversin, "we want to support statewide understanding of the value of safe walking and biking."
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Among the others involved at the legislative building event are Safe Routes to School, the State Parks' American Discovery Trail, the Carson City Health and Human Services Department, the Carson Valley Trail Association, the Reno Bike Project and the Nevada Department of Transportation's Bicycle/Pedestrian Association.
"Biking and walking," Inversin said, "helps us to stay healthy, saves money, and helps keep the air cleaner. It's a win-win activity for the individual and the community."
The activity today within a week of Muscle-Powered and others in league with the organization locally in an effort to lobby the Carson City Board of Supervisors for a pedestrian-friendly downtown.
Though supervisors didn't decide immediately to transform downtown Carson Street traffic from four lanes to two, they did vote without dissent to remove downtown wrought-iron sidewalk fences that had been put up when 18-wheeler trucks traversed it regularly. Truck traffic now travels the Freeway bypass and other vehicular traffic also has lessened through the downtown.
Removal of the sidewalk fences is expected to begin next Monday, according to city government projections at this stage.
National Bike Month, which is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, features events throughout May in communities across the country.
Among some in Carson City: Bike Habitat's Tour de Carson on Sunday, May 5; a Celebrity Ride featuring community leaders and Muscle-Powered members on a leisurely hour-long west side ride May 7; Slow Spokes Ride on Wednesdays in May and into June, led by Jenny Scanland; and the Cruiser Ride May 15, which invites cyclists to break out their best-looking bicycles and don costumes, as well as bedeck those cycles with customary if they like.