The Silver State’s transportation department has just finished the installation of a pedestrian traffic signal on North Virginia in Reno. A traffic signal that many had said would never be installed. The agency held a ceremony yesterday, June 5th. The new pedestrian safety signal is at the intersection of Bailey Drive and North Virginia Street. A number of prominent Northern Nevada politicians were at the event including, Hillary Schieve, Mayor of Reno, Rudy Malfabon, the director of the State of Nevada’s transportation agency, Bob Lucey, County Commissioner and the Lee Gibson, the head of Northern Nevada RTC. The ceremony was also attended by the General Manager of the Bonanza Casino, Ryan Sheltra. There has been greater focus on pedestrian safety across the Silver State due to the dramatic rise in pedestrian deaths in Northern Nevada and Southern Nevada. In 2010, only 35 pedestrians were killed in the Silver State. 2014 saw that total grow to almost 70. The Silver State has instituted a Zero Fatalities program that is working to bring the total number of traffic deaths to none. The new signal is an upgrade to pedestrian caution flashers at the crosswalk. Instead of taking their chances running across the four lane road, pedestrians can now hit a button to activate a walk signal. The department of transportation is funding additional pedestrian improvements in that area including at Hoge Rd., Moraine Wy., and Talus Wy. in Reno.
The department of transportation has budgeted $10 million for pedestrian improvements across Washoe and Clark Counties – the state of Nevada’s urban centers and locales where primarily the high increase in Clark County and Washoe County crosswalk accidents have happened. The total NDOT budget for improving road safety across the state is nearly $21 million. In addition to the te signal the project, which cost $216,000 and was built by PAR Contractors, also included the installation of a concrete barrier along the roadway to increase the safety of those turning right. Additional improvements are scheduled as well including a island median, more lighting and sidewalks.
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