This is a guest post by Mike Lawson.
This is a summary of the Washoe RTC board meeting on 1/18/19.
COUNTY COMMISSSIONER BOB LUCEY IS NEW WASHOE RTC CHAIRMAN
Among the first items of business at the January 15 Regional Transportation Commission Board meeting was the election of Washoe County Commissioner Bob Lucey as the new chairman, and the introduction of Reno City Councilman Oscar Delgado as a new Board member. Other highlights from the monthly meeting are as follows:
- The NDOT Landscape Architecture and Esthetics Division chief made an informative 20 minute presentation on their program goals and process for implementation with a focus on the northern Nevada projects recently completed. This can be viewed on the county website https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKeK3PizyW4
- Public comment was given in support of bike lanes on Center and Sierra streets
- Commissioner Vaughn Hartung requested two consent items be removed from the “global” consent agenda and voted on separately. His concern was what he characterized as “threatening language” with respect to proposed condemnation proceedings required to obtain right of way for sidewalk construction at two locations. Ultimately the items were heard separately from the rest of the consent agenda and were passed 4-1 with Hartung opposing.
- Because the meeting was held during the government shut down the board was advised by executive director Lee Gibson that $ 2.5 million in Federal Transit Authority (FTA) grant money was delayed, and there would be at least a one month delay in the Spaghetti Bowl project due to a delay in the environmental review at the federal level.
- Also due to the federal government shutdown, the Senior transit program which is also FTA funded would continue to operate with funding provided by NDOT using State gas tax money in hopes that the State money would be federally reimbursed at some future date.
- NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon announced his retirement and was not certain who his replacement would be.
- The board accepted the 2019-2020 program of projects after a presentation on the project development process. This presentation not only explained the process for project selection, it highlighted regional projects of significance that may be of interest. The presentation can be accessed via the same link provided in the first bullet item.
- A presentation on the bike path/lane alternative under consideration for Sierra and Center streets was made and public comments was provided. It was noteworthy that the public comment was treated as perfunctorily as is public comment at other public meetings in Washoe county, and it is the principal reason citizens continue to feel they are not being heard.
I will continue to report on RTC board meetings on a monthly basis as a commitment to WRAP and our community.