Sidewalk's start signals safer journey for children

Washoe County's department of public works began construction Wednesday along Oriole Way in Incline Village, to provide a sidewalk.

Construction is expected to last through about the first week of September, possibly through Sept. 11, but the road will remain open for traffic. The Granite Construction Company of Carson City, won the bid from Washoe County and its employees are doing the work.

Approximately a year and a half ago Jim Jeffers, executive director of the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Chamber of Commerce, introduced the subject of the Oriole Way sidewalk at a Community Improvement Projects meeting.

The chamber joins with other agencies to review projects, Jeffers added.

"Sharon Cavis, Washoe County planner, and Dick Mento, also from the county public works department, were there," said Jeffers.

Residents, members of the Citizens Advisory Board, as well as folks from the chamber of commerce have been lobbying for a sidewalk in this area out of concern for children walking to the elementary school, said Dick Minto, Washoe County's public works superviser in Incline Village.

Just four years ago Incline Middle School student, Victor Herrera, was struck by a pickup truck and killed near the intersection of Tanager Street and Oriole Way. The court determined that the boy and his cousin were 30 percent at fault because they were walking partially in the roadway.

However, a trial following the accident determined the boys were walking in the street because there was no sidewalk.

Four years after the fatal accident, county commissioners approved the appropriation of funds for the sidewalk in June.

Funds for the project came from a couple of sources. About $50,000 came from an Incline Village commercial account for the Oriole way pedestrian path; another $32,000 was earmarked for another path along Tanager Street; and $2,746 is set aside to create bike lane striping along Northwood Boulevard and on College Avenue.

The asphalt pathways will "make it safer for people to get down the street," said Jim Galloway, county commissioner.

He said he added $5,000 of his commissioner's discretionary funds toward the sidewalk projects.


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