NV: Rise in Use of Alternative Forms of Transportation

A newly released study shows more people are riding bikes and walking or using wheelchairs to get around the region.

The RTC Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Collection Program monitored 38 locations throughout the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area and in unincorporated portions of Washoe County. Data collected in September 2013 was compared to data collected in May 2014. The comparison revealed bicycle volumes jumped 16 percent, pedestrian volumes increased by seven percent and wheelchair volumes increased by 10 percent.

Bike to Work Week took place during the second week of May. Additionally, warmer temperatures may have helped contribute to the increase.

Observations also showed people prefer to use alternative forms of transportation on complete streets. A complete street is a street designed with separate spaces for pedestrians, vehicles and bikes. Here is a link to an example of a complete street concept, which is being considered for a portion of Keystone Avenue:

Existing complete streets are: Mayberry Drive at McCarran Boulevard, Sutro Street at 9th Street and Arlington Avenue at Mount Rose Street, among other locations.

Notably, there was roughly a 50 percent increase of biking and walking observed at West Plumb Lane and Hunter Lake Drive. This location is near the recently completed West Plumb Lane Reconstruction Project, which added a multi-use path along the south side of Plumb.

An increase in wheelchairs was observed at several locations, including Sutro Street at 9th Street. RTC recently completed a project that enhanced accessibility for everyone along Sutro, adding sidewalks where none existed before. After data is collected in September 2014, information on bicycle, pedestrian and wheelchair activity for the urban area will be compiled into a full year report.