Streetscape ideas will shape downtown’s future | SierraSun.com
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Streetscape ideas will shape downtown’s future

Christina Nelson

About 25 Truckee citizens took the opportunity Tuesday night to pick their preferred design for the road realignment and streetscape project – and to weigh in on issues such as traffic density, and bicycle- and pedestrian-accessibility downtown.

During a 15-minute break in the meeting citizens, examined the different options and placed a sticker next to the plan they liked the best.

The meeting, the second of three public workshops, introduced design concepts and elements for the downtown area streets and sidewalks after a review of citizen input.

“We’re trying to make this a public process,” said Paul Pettersen, associate project manager for Harding ESE, the Carson City, Nev. firm hired to lead the project.

“This is your town. This is something that I think is needed.”

The goal of the project is “to create a realignment so when new developments come in, we’ll all be on the same page,” said Pat Perkins, Town of Truckee senior civil engineer.

In other words, it’s a future plan and portions of it will be implemented at different points in the future depending on available funds and the demands of the public.

Engineers discussed the advantages and disadvantages of changing street widths, parking options, bicycle circulation and pedestrian traffic.

The engineers divided downtown into five districts and provided two design options for each district. The different options are meant to act as a puzzle – fitting together the different needs of the community in different parts of downtown.

Traffic consultant Gordon Shaw discussed the possibility of traffic signals or roundabouts at Donner Pass Road and Bridge Street, Bridge Street and West River Street and Church Street and Donner Pass Road.

Shaw suggested that the best options on Bridge Street, especially at the railroad, are signals. At Church and Donner Pass, he suggested a roundabout to slow down traffic heading into town.

One option examined by engineers included one-way traffic on West River Street and Donner Pass Road through Downtown.

Another proposed plan is to build a sidewalk that will be consistent with Commercial Row and Brickelltown, allowing pedestrians easy access to businesses in both districts.

The plans also allow for improved front yard areas in Brickelltown.

“This will only improve the flow of pedestrian traffic, not to mention the parking,” said Buffalo Cano, who has lived in Brickelltown for 20 years.

Some residents were concerned about where the town would get the money for a project such as this one.

Public Works Director Dan Wilkins said the Town Council will make policy decisions regarding funding at a later date.

“This kind of project would be implemented in phases,” Wilkins said, adding that portions of the project may not be implemented for another 10 years.

The third and final road realignment and streetscape project workshop will be held in October. The town hopes to bring final plans to the planning commission for approval in October or November.

Engineers and town officials emphasized that citizens are encouraged to get involved in the decision-making process.


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