By the end of next summer, traffic on South Carson Street might get a little bit of congestion relief.
The Nevada Department of Transportation is looking at turning a roughly two-mile section of Carson Street into six lanes simply by restriping the roadway.
Scott Magruder, state transportation spokesman, said there is enough space on the existing road to add a third lane using the shoulder. It's a recent idea aimed at improving traffic flow on the heavily traveled street.
Magruder said the striping plan is still in preliminary stages. However, traffic traveling southbound should have an extra lane from Fairview Drive to Highway 50 East.
A third lane in each direction is being added from the Spooner Summit Junction to Jacks Valley Road as part of this summer's Highway 395 overlay project into Douglas County. Northbound traffic should get an extra lane of traffic from the Highway 50 interchange to Stewart Street.
Carson City Supervisor Jon Plank, also chairman of the Regional Transportation Commission, said city acceptance of the plan depends on community acceptance of the idea. He, however, likes the idea.
"If you want a real experience, go up on South Curry around 5 p.m., park on the shoulder and look at the traffic on Highway 395," Plank said. "It's just creeping bumper to bumper. This could increase the capacity to move traffic south of Carson City on Highway 395.
"It's worth looking at. I've had complaints over the last three and a half years about the sluggish traffic between South Carson and Douglas County. I think with the commercial traffic that is happening in South Carson and North Douglas, there is probably more traffic out there than there used to be, especially when Costco opens its doors."
Plank said his one concern is how the striping will affect businesses on South Carson Street.
Larry Osborne, executive director of the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce, said state officials had briefed the chamber's transportation committee on the new striping plan. He said state officials said the project would be completed around July 2001.
"We don't know about the effect to business, but obviously we'll talk about it again," Osborne said. "But at this point we didn't see that there would be a problem with it. We will want to see some more diagrams and things."