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City Council to consider Convention Center Drive

Dave Price
dprice@lahontanvalleynews.com

City of Fallon website:

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A road passing near the Fallon Convention Center and Western Nevada College will be addressed Tuesday night during the City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 55 W. Williams Ave.

Council members will consider awarding a contract for Convention Center Drive, which will connect Auction Road and Venturacci Lane. The project is designed to provide an east-west roadway along the perimeter of the convention center and WNC Fallon Campus parking lot area.

The project was discussed during a public workshop on Thursday, when members of the City Council heard plans for the proposed Convention Center Drive.

City Engineer Jim Souba noted a recent traffic count identified more than 700 cars per day using the convention center parking lot and the paved right-of-way behind Safeway as a through way to reach Venturacci Lane. One reason for the traffic is the challenge motorists face when trying to make a left-hand turn from Auction Road on to Williams Avenue, Souba added.

“Staff has long been aware of the problem with cars using the convention center parking lot as a shortcut,” Souba said during the public workshop. “It’s not illegal — there’s no rule against going through the parking lot as a shortcut — but it’s not optimal, primarily as a safety concern for people using the convention center when they’re walking to or from their car.”

Rick Gray, Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority executive director, views the roadway as important.

“It is needed and will certainly add to the safety of Convention Center clients for all of the events that take place here,” Gray noted. “I think it will add to the aesthetics of the Convention Center as well which is another selling tool. We are redoubling our efforts this year to get more meetings and conventions to Fallon. The new road will help.”

Steve Moon, location principal for Lumos & Associates, explained a basic layout plan that included layout of the roadway, revised parking, landscaping to separate the parking area from the roadway, as well as a pedestrian path.

“It would provide access to the Northside Early Learning Center and Venturacci Park with its new gymnasium,” Moon explained during the public workshop. “We’re looking to establish some continuity between two of the city’s facilities.”

The project would be paid for from Regional Transportation Funds.

Susan Smith-Savala, a recent City Council candidate who lives in the neighborhood, also supports the project.

“I’m glad to see a road go around that way and I think it’s money well-spent,” she said. “Auction Road is the gateway to the Convention Center and the community college and everybody uses it, so I would really like to see some landscaping there to make it nice. That makes it inviting for people when they come to visit.”