Hundreds of people swarmed to the Carson City Community Center on Monday to see the Olympic torch pass through the capital.
People had to park on the east side of Mills Park and hike across the park to the Community Center just to catch a glimpse of the Olympic flame, something Carson Supervisor Jon Plank points out wouldn't have to happen if there were more parking near the community center.
Plank recently persuaded both the Parks and Recreation Commission and the city's Redevelopment Authority Citizen's Committee to pitch in $75,000 each to pay for 60 parking spaces along Mills Park's Highway 50 East border. Carson supervisors approved the redevelopment committee's share of the money last week.
"I think it's great," Plank said. "(The torch stop) wasn't the biggest crowd that area draws. The parking lots around the Community Center were chock full. That will meet the needs of not only the park, but of the community center."
City officials don't yet have a schedule for when work on the parking will start, but it has a $150,000 budget. The parking improvements will also include landscaping, curbs and sidewalks.
Parking on the stretch of road has been a a focus of disagreement between the city and the Nevada Department of Transportation for years. City officials have to get a permit for people to park on the section of the highway any time there's a special event, and NDOT previously has denied the permit because of the position of a bike path along the highway.
However, the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau last year paid $16,000 to move the Highway 50 bike path inside the park's fence line.