Attendees at a public open house overwhelmingly favored one of two designs to overhaul South Carson Street.
“That was the goal of tonight. It was wide open before,” but was decided by public input, said Public Works Director Darren Schulz at the meeting held in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center.
The preferred design will add a multiuse path for pedestrians and bicyclists adjacent to South Carson Street to the east and a left turn lane that runs uninterrupted down the center of the road.
Both designs narrow the road to two lanes in both directions, but the other design would have added a median broken up by occasional turn lanes to provide access to all the businesses and a bike lane on the road on the west side of the street.
The design will also add lighting, landscaping and possibly some rectangular rapid flashing beacons for pedestrian safety.
New crosswalks are proposed at Colorado, Rhodes, Sonoma, and Moses streets, and possibly two roundabouts, at Sonoma Street and Synder Avenue.
The east-side frontage road that starts just north of Sonoma Street and runs south to Moses Street remains in both designs.
About 100 people attended the meeting where Molly O’Brien with consultant Kimley Horn presented the proposed design alternatives and Patrick Pittenger, transportation manager, took questions on the project.
Kimley Horn did the conceptual designs, which was funded by the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The designs are the first step in redoing the road, starting with the stretch from Fairview Drive south to Roland Street.
The design encompasses Carson Street starting at 5th Street, which will be constructed in two sections after the Fairview-to-Roland piece is done.
Carson City is taking over South Carson Street from Fairview Drive to Highway 50 West from the Nevada Department of Transportation.
The transfer occurs 90 days after the freeway bypass to Spooner Junction opens sometime this summer.
As part of the agreement, the Department of Transportation will give $5.1 million to the city to redo the road and the city must start construction of it by 2019.
The city also has about $1 million from an 1/8 cent sales tax set aside and another $750,000 grant from NDOT for pedestrian and bicycle improvements, said Pittenger.
The city expects traffic on the road, once the bypass opens, to drop by half or more, from 45,000 cars a day to 20,000-25,000 cars daily.
Pittenger said the speed limit might be dropped to 35 mph, from the current 45 mph on much of it.
Boards depicting the two alternative designs on three separate stretches of the road were displayed and attendees were asked to place stickers next to their preferred design for each section of the project.
Alternative B received one to three stickers on each portion while the Alternative A garnered about 30-35 stickers on each section.
People said they preferred the off-road multi-use path and the continuous turn lane.
“Alternative A is winning by a landslide,” said David Johnson. “A bike path to the east makes a lot more sense.”
Chaz Macquarie agreed, but left a comment on some design changes.
“There has to be safe passage from the shared use path on the east to the one on the west being done by NDOT,” near Highway 50, he said.
“It shouldn’t be a roundabout at Snyder, it either needs to be a signal there or extend the west path to Clearview (Drive) at that signal.”
The city is also assembling a South Carson Street Advisory Workgroup of residents that might meet quarterly to continue to get information and provide feedback on the project.
To sign up for the working group or provide comment on the road design, email comments@CarsonAreaMPO.com.