Jim Phalan, downtown food and beverage businessman, said Monday that a walkable Carson Street will help transform a dead thoroughfare into an area with a lively look and feel.
“My biggest beef is it’s dead on the streets,” said Phalan, whose High Sierra Brewing Co. and Firkin & Fox are mainstays of downtown Carson City. He said he didn’t understand “the uproar” over a proposal to reduce traffic from four lanes to two, plus make other changes.
“I do think that this will help downtown,” he said. “I do believe it will make it a more walkable destination. I’m 100 percent for it.”
Phalan, who is handling public relations and characterized himself as a food and retail representative in a new group called Downtown 20/20, said he plans to appear at the 6:30 p.m. meeting Thursday at which the Carson City Board of Supervisors will take testimony on the issue and perhaps decide how to direct staffers going forward.
“It’s going to cost the city a drop in the hat,” Phalan said, noting that re-striping paint on the street will allow one lane of traffic north and one south, rather than two each way, plus add some 80 parallel parking spaces. The changes would affect Carson Street from Fifth Street on the south to Ann Street on the north.
Protective pedestrian wrought-iron fences along that corridor also would be removed. Phalan said he has been told the fences were put up in the days when 18-wheeler trucks still traveled through the city.
The new downtown group was formed not only due to the issue before the board this year, Phalan said, but also to work over the next three years for other changes geared toward making downtown more pedestrian-friendly to attract foot traffic and new shops.