Commissioners hesitant with NDOT’s bicycle plan |

Commissioners hesitant with NDOT’s bicycle plan

Christine Kuklica
The Nevada Department of Transportation presented a plan to county commissioners to install bike paths along major route such as Allen Road.

The Churchill County Commissioners reluctantly agreed to adopt the Churchill County Bicycle Plan that was endorsed by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Bill Story from NDOT said the Churchill County Bicycle Plan was previously part of the Trails Across Churchill County, which is a Statewide Bicycle Plan as required under statute and federal law. It is developed by the NDOT on reoccurring basis that was last updated in February 2013.

He said NDOT is now writing Bicycle Plans for the 14 rural counties. The Churchill County Bicycle Plan, and all other rural county plans, will become appendices within the Statewide Plan. The proposed U.S. Bike Route System will also use U.S. Highway 50, Highway 50A, Highway 95 and Interstate 80 to cross Churchill County. Future improvements of our roadway system (with bicycle facilities and improvements) must be part of the Statewide Bicycle Plan in order for NDOT to make these accommodations in the future as they improve and resurface roadways within Churchill County.

“We came out and drove all of the roads in every county and looked for facility improvements,” Story said. “We got input from the public from both online surveys and at a workshop in Fallon.”

With the improvements Story hopes it increases bicycling’s mode share throughout Churchill County in and between communities, both by residents and tourists and reduces crashes involving bicyclists and eliminate all bicyclist fatalities in support of Nevada’s “Zero Fatalities” and the national “Towards Zero Deaths” initiatives.

Resident Amber Sanchez said she has nothing against cyclist but is concerned with not being able to pass a cyclist on a long road due to the law.

Story said motorists are able to pass a cyclist if they have three feet of space between them or the cyclists must stop and get off of the road if five or more cars lined up behind them.

Commissioner Bus Scharmann said although he can see the importance of making bike paths, he feels it’s more important to fix traffic problems at Sheckler Cutoff.

Story said that NDOT is updating its plan that will be put in the county’s master plan.

The commissioners all sung the same tune about the proposed update and agreed that there are more important projects that would benefit the county which NDOT needs to focus its attention. The commissioners approved the update with the condition that the commissioners could oppose any project not necessary or cost effective.

Other items approved or discussed by the commissioners include the following:

Discussed the activities and programs of Domestic Violence Intervention and the shelter.

Discussed Churchill Economic Development Authority activities and approved a $5,000 funding for preliminary rail park design for a rail park development grant application.

Approved HUD funds awarded to Churchill County for the provision of the Primary Assistance and Transitional Housing grant.

Approved public hearing on October 1 for Bill 2015-E, Ordinance 114, to provide an establishment and enforcement of a Rabies Control Program.

Discussed hiring a professional to research and draft an update to Chapter 12, Policy Plan for Public Land, of the master plan and will be brought back to discuss further at a later date.

Approved contract with Arrington Watkins Architects as design professional for the Churchill County Detention Facility.

Approved contract with NEOGOV to provide an online Applicant Tracking System to Churchill County and authorize Human Resources Director.

Approved Addendum to Amendment to Moody Lane Facility Connection Fee Agreement.

Approved Amendment to Interlocal Agreement between Lyon and Churchill County for the cost sharing of the County Juvenile Detention Facility.