Washington Street may dead end at Roop

A hazardous intersection near the Carson City Library could be closed, pending today's decision of the Carson City Regional Transportation Commission.

"We are eliminating this oddball intersection from public traffic," said Ken Door with Capital Engineering, who has been working on the city's Roop Street widening project.

Dorr said the Roop and Washington streets intersection near the library is at a 45 degree angle and has been the source of many accidents over the years.

The recommendation to close the intersection stems from the city's larger plan to widen Roop to five lanes from Washington to Beverly Drive and four lanes from Beverly to Winnie Lane past Lone Mountain Cemetery.

Under the plan, Washington access to Roop may be blocked. One alternative creates a dead-end, allowing the library and a privately owned building housing law and financial offices to share a large parking lot.

Another option would create a small driveway, similar to the one that runs through Mills Park, providing limited access to Washington Street businesses and homes, Dorr said.

"We could either close it off, leave it open or do some modification of both of these to perpetuate some of the access," Dorr said. "We still have alternatives in the parking lot."

The commission will also decide the fate of traffic flow on John Street.

A change proposed at the John and Roop intersection would prohibit left turns from John to Roop, as well as left turns from Roop to John.

Commissioners were slated to make both decisions in mid-March but decided to delay action until business owners on the streets were contacted.

According to the commission, letters were sent May 5 to about 30 property owners with buildings within 300 feet of the intersections. The letter requested comments from the owners.

John Flansberg, the city's transportation manager, said he received only two responses.

But some property owners said they did not receive the letter.

Chris Gonfiantini, owner of Alpine Insurance on the corner of John and Roop streets, said he was not notified. He said the change will be detrimental to his business.

"The economy is already bad," he said. "They are just putting another nail in the coffin. They are putting a Band-aid on the real problem, which is the highway."

However, Jerry Pace, manager of U.S. Auto Title, which shares the building with Alpine Insurance, said the change will be a vast improvement.

"This is a wild, wild intersection," Pace said. "People make U-turns here and they get frustrated and try to turn out. I have seen three wrecks on this corner. This will be a great enhancement and cut down on traffic."

The Nevada Department of Transportation has recorded 28 accidents at the John and Roop intersection in the past three years.

Property owners on Washington Street said they are frustrated as well.

Lydia Bonds, owner of the Hair IT IS Styling Salon on the corner of Walsh and Washington streets, a block from the intersection, said the closure will decrease her business. She has posted a petition in her salon, with 17 signatures so far, pleading to keep the intersection open.

At least one of the tenants of the offices at Washington and Roop also felt strongly about the proposed closure.

"Washington is a major thoroughfare, so it would be stupid to make this a dead end," said attorney Joan Reid, whose office is in the building. "All the city has to do is put up a stop sign. The city fathers are juvenile. They can't find their way out of a paper bag. They spend all this money and get nothing done. If they would get the bypass done we wouldn't be having this traffic."


What: Carson City Regional Transportation Commission

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: Community Center, Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.


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