Improvements To Area Roads Coming

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In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Washoe County Commission has approved W.C.-2, the initiative to improve the county's roads.

Voters approved W.C.-2 last November. They voted 57 percent in favor of the plan, and Tuesday county commissioners moved W.C.-2 into action.

By July 1st, we'll see the sales tax increase by 1/8 of a penny, and by October 1st, the fuel tax will go up by about half a cent.

Transportation planners say these small changes will add up to better highways and public transit over the next 30 years.

Over the next 30 years, residents of the Truckee Meadows can expect to pay an extra $30 a year for road projects designed to ease traffic and appease growth.

"Its gonna mean we have the resources to move into the future," says Jim McGrath of the Regional Transportation Committee.

RTC managers say the future includes expansion of the main interstates . . . I-80, US-395 and Pyramid Highway will be widened.

Half the funds raised from W.C.-2 go to road projects, the other half to public transit and better bike and pedestrian paths.

"It will allow us to have clean air and smooth roads, it will allow the economy to improve and to get a good foundation to attract businesses," says RTC Deputy Executive Director Derek Morse.

Most drivers applaud the plans . "They need to do something to improve the freeways because in the future it's gonna be worse," says motorist Rafael Fuentes.

But some are skeptical, wanting to see results soon. "They haven't kept up..its gonna take 30 years just to catch up," says Leslie Carter.

An estimated $820 million is expected to be raised by the year 2030.

RTC officials say they'll need every cent to keep up with the half million people who will call Truckee Meadows home by then.

In addition to the sales and fuel tax increases, developers will also have to pay some inflationary increases in their building fees.

We'll be watching it all take shape.