Bike path group lobbies Guinn

Carson City officials and bike enthusiasts are heading straight to the top with their request for a bike path to accompany the Carson City freeway.

Supervisors Robin Williamson and Jon Plank, Mayor Ray Masayko and Anne Macquarie, president of Muscle Powered, will present Gov. Kenny Guinn petitions in support of a bike path Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. at the governor's office.

As chairman of the state transportation board, Guinn will be swayed by the show of support from Carson residents, the group hopes.

"We need to bring this to his attention and let him know there's public support for this," Williamson said.

Williamson has received 167 signed cards generated by Muscle Powered in support of the path which she will present to the governor. She will also present a copy of a proclamation from the Carson City Board of Supervisors supporting the path. Macquarie has collected an additional 200 petition signatures to present to the governor.

"We welcome the opportunity to explain to the governor why it's important to the city and to let the people who signed the cards and petitions know the issue hasn't disappeared," Macquarie said.

Plank said other bicycling groups have asked him to show support on their behalf.

"We need to let the governor know there is a big interest in the linear park," Plank said.

The state transportation board is tentatively scheduled to hear the bike path issue May 9.

Community groups like Muscle Powered and GROW want to see a multi-use path and linear park skirting the freeway. This would allow pedestrians and bicyclists a north-south route through Carson City.

The issue of adding a bike path along the freeway generated controversy between residents and the Nevada Department of Transportation in recent months. The original cost of $7.5 million for a path was too high to be included in the freeway's construction.

Through workshops and planning, the groups have the price down to $3.12 million. State engineers are examining the design of the path and the price could drop further.

An October workshop laid much of the groundwork for the new design. It should be completed this month. The design would pull the path from directly along the freeway's edge and nudge it into city streets in some places, eliminate costly retaining walls, lighting and passage under the freeway.

Public workshops to review the bike plan are being planned for April.

A resolution passed by Carson City supervisors Feb. 3 reads:

Whereas, this landscaping and multi-use trail concept will be an asset to the community and consistent with Carson City's goal to enhance the quality of life for its citizens.

Now, therefore be it resolved, that the Carson City Board of Supervisors resolves to pursue a public/private partnership between Carson City, GROW, Muscle Powered and the Nevada Department of Transportation to:

-- Landscape the Carson City freeway with water-efficient landscaping appropriate to the location and climate;

-- Incorporate the design and construction of the multi-use trail located in the existing freeway right-of-way and/or on adjacent property or city appeared routes with landscaping to create a linear park in concert with the construction of the freeway.

-- Develop policies and procedures for use of capital campaign funds raised by the public/private partnership, to develop this linear park;

-- Develop policies, procedures and identify funding sources to install and maintain the landscaping and the multi-use path that will comprise the linear park.


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