After a lengthy stream of public comments, RTC voted unanimously to keep RTC's designs which include eliminating some left turns in Midtown, eliminating center turn lane, adding a median, and keeping wider sidewalks.
You can find a PDF attachment depicting the changes by clicking here, or looking at the images below.
Some business owners such as Kramer's Midtown (the former weekly motel that was converted to apartments), The Wild Orchid, the restaurant Feast, and others were adamant keeping the center turn lane was crucial, while others, such as Recycled Records, stated wider sidewalks were more important.
With the approved lane configuration, if you are going southbound on Virginia Street, you won't be able to turn left on Stewart Street, Moran Street, won't be able to turn left into the Sticks shopping and retail center, and won't be able to turn left onto Taylor Street. There will be a left-turn lane for Cheney Street. Going northbound on Virginia, you won't be able to turn left onto Martin Street, and La Rue. Some modifications were made to allow a left turn onto St. Larence Avenue. There was also talk of turning California Avenue into a roundabout as a desired item but not set in stone.
Center Street's intersection with Mary and South Virginia Street will be converted into a roundabout.
This configuration through the narrow part of Virginia Street will allow for limited street parking on Virginia Street, and also add pull-in parking spots on several side streets. All sidewalks will be widened, a meridian put in with landscaping in certain areas, and new trees and other design elements will line the streets.
The impact of keeping the center turn lane would hae meant:
- Narrower sidewalks
- Fewer street trees (9 foot sidewalk needed for trees)
- Reno requires 5 feet for trees/grates plus 4 feet for ADA clear zone
- More roadway conflict points from turns
- Midtown roundabout no longer needed
I personally like the current proposed configuration. I live, work and frequent Midtown, and it's not a big deal to me to travel down to Cheney to turn left instead of using Moran or Stewart.