The Carson City Regional Transportation Commission is not being shy about asking Uncle Sam to shoulder some of the costs of needed infrastructure and transportation projects.
On March 8, RTC members unanimously approved more than $5 million in federal funding requests, hoping dollars will flow to a multiuse path along a chunk of I-580, to Jump Around Carson’s paratransit service, to improvements on Curry Street and other projects.
Carson City Transportation Manager Chris Martinovich said when going after federal dollars, staff examines projects in the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s long-range regional transportation plan and weighs factors like project readiness, benefits and needs as well as available funds for local matches.
“Our goal is to leverage the federal funding in a meaningful way based on the many requirements and efforts associated with federal funding,” Martinovich told the Appeal. “The city has been very successful in leveraging federal funding and executing federally-funded projects, and we will continue to investigate the multitude of options.”
RTC members approved two grant applications for the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program. The grants are administered by the Nevada Department of Transportation. The first of the TAP grants is for $766,000, with a 5 percent local match, for a multiuse path from Modoc Court to Highway 50 East.
According to city staff, the grant would be used to construct approximately 1,400 feet of a 10-foot-wide path that would be adjacent to I-580.
“This grant application continues Carson City’s goal of creating and maintaining a regional pathway network,” reads a staff report.
The second TAP grant is for roughly $1.3 million, with a 5 percent local match, to fund the Western Nevada Safe Routes to School program through federal fiscal year 2027. It would cover personnel costs, school safety programs and travel and training. Operated by Public Works, the school safety program serves Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties.
“The program aims to achieve a variety of objectives by creating safe, convenient and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools,” Martinovich previously told the Appeal. “The WN-SRTS program aims to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools. In turn, this can increase students’ safety during the school commute and reduce traffic congestion around schools.”
A $477,499 Federal Transit Administration grant, with a 20 percent local match, would help fund JAC’s Assist paratransit service. This grant would be administered through the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“JAC Assist is an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit service,” reads a staff report. “This is ‘origin to destination’ transportation service for persons with disabilities who cannot use the regular bus service. It is primarily a curb-to-curb service, but door-to-door service is provided upon request.”
More information about JAC Assist is available online: https://www.carson.org/government/departments-g-z/public-works/transportation/jac-jump-around-carson/jac-assist.
A $200,000 grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with a 25 percent local match, would be used for school crosswalk striping and education. This grant is administered through the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety. If awarded, funds would be used to restripe existing crosswalks near Carson City schools and for public outreach, including mailers about crosswalk safety and driver behavior.
Commissioners saved the largest funding request for last. They approved a request to the city’s congressional delegation for $2.6 million in federal Community Project Funding for fiscal year 2024. The congressional delegation is comprised of U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, and U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, both Democrats.
Funds would be used for the Curry Street Complete Streets Improvement Project. Total project costs are estimated at $3.9 million. The remaining $1.3 million would come from local funds.
CPF is considered congressionally-directed spending, also known as earmarks. City officials have been successful in the past getting such funding. For example, the city was recently awarded $1.1 million in CPF from the current fiscal year for a new traffic signal at Appion Way and South Carson Street.
The Curry Street project would rehabilitate pavement and widen the road between Rhodes Street and Fifth Street and provide better pedestrian use and storm drainage as well as better access to south Carson City.
According to Carson City Public Works, the Curry Street project is “a vital undertaking that aims to enhance the safety and efficiency of the corridor for all users.”
“As the area continues to experience growth with a mix of residential and commercial developments, this project is essential for improving traffic flow along this critical north-south corridor and promoting economic development in the area,” reads a staff report.
In other action:
• RTC members tabled an item on a proposed new transit center for Jump Around Carson.
LSC Transportation Consultants, hired in 2021 to develop a feasibility study for a new center, recommended renovating the current transfer center on North Plaza Street between East Robinson and East Washington streets by making that section of street one-way and creating space to construct a 1,450-square-foot structure with waiting space, restrooms and other amenities. LSC recommended pursuing federal bus facility grants to cover the estimated $3.4 million cost.
When the item will return to the RTC has yet to be determined.
• CAMPO members discussed updating the organization’s Public Participation Plan, a guiding document that is federally required.
According to a staff summary, the PPP sets forth how individuals, public agencies and interested parties can be involved in the metropolitan transportation planning process.
“CAMPO wants to know how you want to participate and be informed of transportation plans and programs,” city officials said in a press release.
A new public survey for the plan is online at https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/12e95a3ffa46487bba3da7f2b7aece34.
“This survey will stay open through May 2023,” reads the press release. “We invite members of the public to take this short, eight-question survey so that we can learn how to best communicate with area residents.”
For information or for assistance with the survey, email Transportation Planner Kelly Norman at email@example.com.
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