There are several interesting tidbits coming up in next Wednesday's council meeting, including L.10, discussing closing Virginia Street from the Truckee River to 4th Street to create a pedestrian mall.
Also, the city council is looking to get a report on their ReTRAC properties, excluding those in negotiation with the Generator project.
It also looks like they want to start things off earlier, and move the city council start time to 10 am.
In addition, the city may purchase or lease the parking structure at 55 East 1st Street (the Cal-Neva Parking Garage).
Fun stuff! I have no idea what the context of the discussion will be regarding closing Virginia Street from the Truckee River to 4th Street, but hopefully they mean from 1st Street to 4th Street. It would be silly to spend so much money replacing the Virginia Street Bridge is we could just replace it with a pedestrian bridge instead. Otherwise yeah, 1st Street might be a better idea. I cut across downtown on 1st Street to Lake Street/Sinclair very often. It's usually my route coming from west Reno.
What are your thoughts on possibly closing Virginia Street? Would it be a game changer for downtown?
For some great examples of what a pedestrian mall looks like, check out the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. It's three blocks long, similar to what's proposed for Virginia Street. Some other notable pedestrian malls in the United States include the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont; the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia; the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada; The Grove in Los Angeles, California; Fort Street Mall in Honolulu, Hawaii; City Center in Oakland, California; Walnut Street in Des Moines, Iowa, Downtown Crossing and Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market in Boston; Washington Street Mall in Cape May, New Jersey; and The Downtown Cumberland Mall in Cumberland, Maryland.
Some questions that will probably be asked when discussed are: Is this a right choice for our primary tourist corridor? Will it help encourage more events downtown, particularly in the winter? Could it help spur redevelopment, and how would it affect the two planned residential towers at the Nevadan and Virginian? How would it affect traffic on Sierra Street and Center Street?
In looking at Third Street Promenade, the cross-streets are left untouched...so in Virginia Street's case, people driving east and west on 2nd Street would still be able to do so. Santa Monida Boulevard, one of the city's busiest streets, intersects and cuts right through the Third Street Promenade, and pedestrians are required to cross the boulevard just as they would any other street using crosswalk signals.
What do you think about it? I'm probably getting ahead of myself discussing the possibilities, knowing my luck the council will pull it from the agenda anyway.