In December of 2017, the Regional Transportation Commission began the process of constructing new bike lanes and a new multi-use path along Evans Avenue. These new improvements come as a part of the Evans Avenue Bicycle Improvements project that will connect downtown Reno with the University of Nevada, Reno.
“The project was first conceived in 2013 and went through an extensive design and planning process,” Lauren Ball, Public Information Officer for the RTC, said. “The RTC worked with our regional partners, including UNR, to ensure that the project was designed with students and neighborhood residents in mind.”
The goal of the project is to give easy and safe access for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers to travel between the two areas. According to the RTC, the project will begin on Evans Avenue near the Greater Nevada Field in Downtown Reno and will go north around the east side of UNR, to McCarran Boulevard.
Furthermore, the RTC plans to add new bike lanes on Evans Avenue from Second Street to Jodi Drive. At the Jodi Drive and Evans Avenue intersection, the RTC will construct a multi-use path up to McCarran Boulevard. Moreover, the installation of new pedestrian flashing beacons at Evans and Highland and a mid-block crosswalk with pedestrian lights by the UNR baseball stadium will be established.
“The community told us they wanted to see enhanced bike lanes and a new walking path connecting the university to downtown Reno,” Ball said. “This project will really improve connectivity for people in our community, especially students and neighborhood residents, who use this area to walk or bike to get where they are going.”
Ball says that the project will increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety in areas where many people bike and walk. The RTC hopes that with the new construction of the bike lanes and pedestrian flashing beacons will lead to higher pedestrian visibility and fewer crashes and severe injuries.
“I think the changes are a good idea,” Erik Johnson, a student at UNR, said. “I’ll definitely feel safer riding my bike to campus now that I won’t have to share the road with cars who may or may not be paying attention to their surroundings.”
The RTC has paused construction due to school being in session and will resume in March when students are on spring break. The RTC says that drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians can expect intermittent closures during construction. The project is expected to be completed before students graduate this coming May.