Downtown 20/20 group gets second advisory panel blessing |

Downtown 20/20 group gets second advisory panel blessing

John Barrette

Carson City’s Parks and Recreation Commission voted without dissent Tuesday to support park and recreation features in the Downtown 20/20 group’s plan.

The commission first heard from Linda Ritter, who said she is a volunteer consultant to the group, and four leaders of the organization formed by various downtown businesses.

Though the overall plan was altered slightly from the proposal earlier put before the city’s Cultural Commission, it has the same basic goals and ideas.

Both advisory units were asked for their recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

The cultural panel has recommended support for cultural aspects of the plan.

Sean Lehmann, chairman of the parks panel, suggested many of the goals stated by the 20/20 group could be achieved by closing Carson Street downtown to make it pedestrian friendly.

He asked group leaders for their reaction. He repeated the idea for the group to consider on two occasions. “Just my personal opinion,” he said.

But Dana Lee Freund, who heads the 20/20 group, called that “a bold thought” while saying perhaps it could be tried later. She also said her group hadn’t ever “really discussed that.”

Doreen Mack, group founder, said she wasn’t sure support for complete closure could be mustered.

She has advocated, and continues to along with her business colleagues, changing Carson Street downtown to allow two lanes of traffic, one north and one south, and going to parallel parking.

The city has removed iron fencing from downtown sidewalks but hasn’t moved to cut the four lanes to two and allow parallel parking yet.

Some of the aspects of the plan call for pocket parks and plazas, as well as other amenities to make downtown attractive to tourists and locals alike.

Overall goals include business development, marketing downtown, holding special events and other things to combat loss of car traffic due to the freeway while luring pedestrians onto downtown streets.