Glimpses of the future |

Glimpses of the future

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer
Illustration by Winston Associates This is a possible future view of downtown Carson City using computer simulation, with Ann Street in the foreground and looking toward the Carson Nugget and Cactus Jack's. Major changes, as suggested by residents, would be removing street medians, adding wayfarer signs, and other physical and visual amenities. On Wednesday and Thursday, the city will premiere a 3D big-screen video highlighting what the heart of the city could look like.

Residents will have the chance this week to peek into what Carson City may look like in a decade and more.

Organizers plan to make the long-awaited public premiere of the downtown Carson City design concept video an event to remember, with showings in the Brewery Arts Center Grand Ballroom on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

It’ll be shown on a big screen with a high-concept plot and fast-paced action – just like a real movie.

The 3-D video takes viewers on a short virtual tour of how the downtown might look after the Carson City Freeway is completed in 2010 and traffic decreases drastically on Carson Street from the current count of 40,000 vehicles per day.

There also will be closer looks at certain sections of downtown to show design details. A question-and-answer session with city staff will follow .

More than 1,000 residents provided in upwards of 30,000 pieces of information to include in the video. They were given lists and pictures of buildings, signs, planters and other objects to look at and comment on during design studio workshops held in September.

Their preferences are visible in the video, produced by Winston Associates, as part of the city’s master-plan process.

“Seeing is believing,” said Joe McCarthy, the city’s development and redevelopment manager. “The video is meant to encourage future development of downtown.”

The most obvious changes would be reducing the number of lanes on the thoroughfare from four to two through downtown and adding on-street parking. Sidewalk bulb-outs would allow much shorter walks across Carson Street. People coming downtown would stay longer and patronize more businesses if they can cross the street as easily as possible, McCarthy said.

Any medians that exist in the middle of Carson Street through downtown now would be removed. That, some residents pointed out, would make it easier for floats, marching bands and other participants to move down Carson Street during the Nevada Day Parade, for example, said Lee Plemel, the city’s principal planner.

Some taller buildings than those seen downtown now have been created. A six-story building can be seen near Cactus Jack’s at one point during the presentation.

Another feature: opening up the downtown portion of the Washington Street drainage channel, which is now closed, to create an urban stream. It has been discussed from time to time for years, Plemel said.

The entire video production process cost the city about $90,000. The cost to do the sidewalk widenings and add streetside amenities is unknown, though state officials have promised to help make these improvements, McCarthy said.

More cosmetic aspects of the work would be done over years, using redevelopment and any other available fund sources.

“Downtown will be an area that residents can take ownership of and pride in, and know they were instrumental in making the improvements happen,” he added.

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

If you go

WHAT: A 3-D big-screen video simulation of the proposed design for Carson City’s downtown

WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Brewery Arts Center Grand Ballroom, second floor, 449 W. King


INFORMATION: 887-2101, ext. 1208