City of Reno

Staff Report

Staff Report (For Possible Action): Presentation, discussion and confirmation of the preferred lighting, landscaping and finishes for Virginia Street in MidTown as part of the Regional Transportation Commission's Virginia Street Bus RAPID Extension Project. [4:00PM Time Certain]


Department:Public Works - Capital ProjectsSponsors:
Category:Street Project

Recommendation and Proposed Motion

Recommendation:  Staff recommends confirmation of the preferred lighting (circular dark bronze), the inclusion of planter areas, tree wells with low maintenance, visually appealing material such as cobbles or pervious pavers, seat walls and varying-width, grey stripe concrete sidewalk for the MidTown section of Virginia Street.


Proposed Motion:  I move to approve staff recommendation.

Staff Report Formal Body

Summary: Design is currently underway for the MidTown section of the Regional Transportation Commission’s (RTC) Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project.  Included in the scope of the project is sidewalk widening that can accommodate street lights and trees throughout and planters and seating where sidewalks are wide enough to accommodate these amenities while maintaining ADA clearance.  The RTC, City staff and the project’s Community Working Group worked together to develop various schemes and treatments for the lighting, landscaping and finishes for the project.  Options were then presented to stakeholders, the Community Working Group and the public for input.  The results of the input, including option preferences determined from a recent online survey, are presented for Council consideration and confirmation.  On August 17, 2017 the RTC Board of Commissioners accepted a report and received a presentation on the preferred lighting, landscaping and finishes.


Previous Council Action: 

October 7, 2015 – Council approved the concept for the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) section of the project which included a bicycle lane, ‘bus only’ lanes, and vehicle lanes and the concept for the MidTown section of the project which included wide sidewalks, on-street parking, raised center median and shared travel lanes.


October 22, 2014 – Council approved the Interlocal Cooperative Agreement approving the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) Program of Projects for Fiscal Year (FY)15/16 among Washoe County, City of Reno, City of Sparks and RTC.


February 26, 2014 – RTC presented the Virginia Street Corridor Investment Plan to Reno City Council.


Discussion:  Since the October 7, 2015 Council selection of the preferred street sections for the project, the RTC has proceeded with the design of the project, prepared and submitted and Environmental Assessment to the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) for approval, selected a contractor using the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) process, and completed the FTA grant application process. 


The MidTown section of the project is at a point in the design where decisions must be made regarding the lighting, landscaping and finishes.  To that end, RTC developed options and presented them to stakeholders, the Community Working Group and the public in an iterative process. 


Options for lighting fixtures, planter areas, tree well finishes, public seating and sidewalk designs were offered for public input.  Survey respondents were given the option to select “like” or “dislike” for each option and to write in comments.  All light fixtures can be provided with banner arms and electrical outlets.  Banners and other amenities that may be added to street lights would be provided by others.  During final design the size, quantity, locations as well as the types of plants, trees, irrigation systems and bedding materials will be coordinated with City of Reno staff. 


Generally the public preferences were for the circular dark bronze light fixture, the inclusion of planter areas, cobble tree wells, seat walls and gray sidewalk with a varying width and spacing pattern.  The dark bronze light fixture received the greatest percentage of “like” responses and the lowest percentage of “dislike” responses. 


The inclusion of planter areas in the project was preferred. 


Financial Implications:  None at this time.


Legal Implications:  None at this time.

Meeting History

Sep 13, 2017 12:00 PM Video Reno City Council Regular

Doug Maloy, P.E., Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) Project Manager, presented the report.

Lee Gibson, Executive Director of RTC, answered questions posed by Council Member Brekhus regarding funding and property acquisition.

Discussion ensued regarding the need for RTC to work with the Reno Arts and Culture Commission to incorporate art into the project.

Council Member Duerr requested that RTC continue to work with the Reno Arts and Culture Commission on the project's art features; with the Urban Forestry Commission on the tree features, including the type and spacing of the trees and how they are planted; and with the Public Works Department.

Council Member Jardon requested that cobblestones not be used in the tree wells.

The Council accepted the report.

MOVER:Naomi Duerr, Councilmember
SECONDER:Neoma Jardon, Councilmember
AYES:Hillary Schieve, Jenny Brekhus, Naomi Duerr, Oscar Delgado, Paul McKenzie, Neoma Jardon, David Bobzien