Bowers Lane might reopen |

Bowers Lane might reopen

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

After being closed for nearly nine years, Bowers Lane may be reopened.

A proposal to again allow through traffic on Bowers – with the addition of stop signs at the intersection with August Drive – will be mulled by the Board of Supervisors today.

Concerns about speeding traffic along Bowers Lane and Sunrise Drive prompted blockage of both streets in 1997.

Other factors that affected the decision to close the two roads were plans for realigning Goni Road at College Parkway and the extension of Graves Lane to Highway 50, said Supervisor Shelly Aldean.

The barrier at Sunrise and Arrowhead Drive will remain, at least until the connecting road proposed between Graves Lane and Arrowhead Drive at the east end of the Carson City Airport is created.

While the realignment and extension jobs have been completed, the connector road isn’t expected to be finished until 2015.

A group of residents requested the city to reopen Bowers last summer. The Regional Transportation Commission hosted several meetings to gauge residents’ opinions about the proposal, then examined whether to place stop signs at the intersection of Bowers Lane and August Drive, according to Larry Werner, the city’s engineer.

“There’s more traffic on Arrowhead than in 1997 – when they closed Bowers and Sunrise,” said resident Roger Rakow, who is worried drivers won’t obey the stop sign and simply return to their past speeding habits on a street that has no nighttime lights and sidewalks.

“It’s a traffic hazard and we’ve watched it build up. That’s why it’s closed,” Rakow said.

Another resident, Dottie Kelley, is worried about drivers who have been forced for years to enter nearby major streets without adequate traffic controls as the number of vehicles traveling through that section of the city has greatly increased.

“Why should a city street be closed?” Kelley asked. “It’s just the danger.”

Drivers seeking to turn left onto Highway 50 from the area pose safety problems, and neither Bowers Lane nor Sunrise Drive was designed as a cul-de-sac. There is a drainage dip in the Bowers intersection that also will slow down vehicles, Aldean said.

She also said there was a comparison between a person’s blood circulation and traffic flow: “If you have some veins removed from your leg, you won’t die – but it impacts the efficiency of your circulation.”

If the board approves the proposal, the barrier could be removed and stop signs could be placed within a matter of weeks, Werner said.

Other options the supervisors could consider: Leave the Bowers intersection closed; reopen it and the Sunrise intersection; and reopen Bowers without the stop signs, he said.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.