Erik Hatch 11 months ago
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The Reno Trailhead is a modern solution to walkability in Downtown Reno. A traditional trailhead, like those found on the Tahoe Rim Trail, provide three key devices to help folks better enjoy a network:

An Icon – a recognizable landmark to help launch a journey and gather the masses.

Data – Information about the trail system, including distance and elevation, to help inform an adventure.

A Purpose – With the creation of a start and finish, a trailhead inherently initiates a goal for users to achieve in covering a desired distance or visiting a desired promontory.

With the help of smartphone technology, the Reno Trailhead can tap into those traditional three devices to create a more vibrant, walkable environment in Downtown Reno. This video shows you how:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3YWSRessCw

6 Comments 25 Votes Created

Allow for a new kind of crosswalk in "art districts" like downtown, Midtown and Dickerson Road. Instead of painting the usual crosswalk, coordinate with local artists to paint an artistic crosswalk, like Piano Keys, for example.

This would be a fun way to draw attention to crosswalks and the need to slow down for pedestrians.

6 Comments 20 Votes Under Review

Lisa Jean 10 months ago
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Trash and waste are destroying our world. In every major ocean there exists giant gyres of trash choking the waters and the marine life. This has a serious detrimental health effect on all life on our planet. The majority of this waste is plastic; namely plastic bags and water bottles. Plastic does not biodegrade into harmless parts; Plastic photo-degrades into smaller, more toxic particles that can take thousands of years to fully dissipate into it environment. By simply getting rid of plastic bag options in retail stores, communities across the United States, and around the world have begun doing their part in ensuring the survival of our oceans and future generations of all species including us. The City of Reno needs to recognize this basic responsibility and be proactive about creating a solution. We as a community should encourage businesses to not give a plastic bag option and for people to bring reusable bags with them where and when ever they go shopping.
The City of Reno has supported the 3 R' Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. As a community we should start with the first R, REDUCE. Please help be part of the solution.

12 Comments 19 Votes Created
Small2_puppymillfreereno-th

Mill animals are some of the most abused and neglected animals, bereft of an ounce of humane treatment including medical, b/c at mills that's just too much of an expense. The breeder animals are crammed into cages their entire lives long, kept pregnant at every cycle until they are thrown out. Puppies from these mills are often sickly with major behavioral problems.

Oprah said, "It is my belief that when you actually see this, America, with your own eyes, that you all are not going to stand for it." Cesar Milan, "The Dog Whisperer," said, "Puppy mills can be a danger for families that want to adopt a new dog. Avoid pet stores, newspaper ads, and great deals online!"

Studies show that 90% of all animals sold in stores are provided by mills. BigBox stores like PetCo and PetSmart long ago stopped selling mill animals. Isn't it time all of Reno did the same?

More info at http://puppymillfreereno.com/

13 Comments 11 Votes Created

I know, the San Francisco based company that owns the property and has obvious contempt for Reno will build another terrible strip mall filled with chains, but I have seen the idea for an urban farm on the empty site proposed many other places. The idea of a large urban block divided into lots that farmers can lease and having perhaps a semiweekly farmers market would be a awesome. This would be a huge statement by the city that would help clean up its image

8 Comments 11 Votes Created

Addressing the homeless situation really needs to be divided into two categories: 1.) rehabilitating the current homeless population and 2.) preventing others from becoming homeless. Because both are complex problems, for now I’ll just focus on the former.

One of the biggest problems I see with the current homeless shelter is that we’ve taken a “one size fits all” approach in providing aid. We have to remember that being homeless is a symptom of the problem and not the cause. As far as I can tell, there are 3 demographics of the homeless population with a lot of overlap between them: those who are mentally ill or physically disabled, those who suffer from substance abuse, and those who are temporarily homeless (can’t find a job). When we lump these different populations in the same living quarters together it’s bound to be chaotic. There needs to be different shelters for the different types of homeless populations (I’ve intentionally left-out homeless families because they have their own family shelter).

Those who are mentally ill need their own shelter where they can receive the supervision and medication they require to remain stable. Those who are substance abusers need a stable environment with a schedule of chores and a support system to help them rehabilitate. Those who are temporarily homeless simply need access to a cot, showers, and a place where they can store their belongings and charge their phones for potential employment leads.

There are a variety of different methods that have been successful in other cities that can be effective here as well. Partnering with the SPCA and incorporating pet-therapy could be a great way to help stabilize much of the population. Garden-therapy has also been very successful in other cities. Beyond producing a sizeable yield that can subsidize the meals of the shelter, garden-therapy also presents an opportunity for people to participate in the betterment of their own well-being. Providing financial management options can also be an effective way of helping people save their money so they don’t blow it all in casinos or in bars.

It’s a vicious cycle once people hit the streets and many people don’t realize how hard it is to pull yourself out of it once you finally get there. When you’re constantly worrying about where you’re going to sleep that night and how to make sure your meager possessions aren't stolen, it’s hard to focus on much else. Beyond that, we as a society have a negative stigma about the homeless. When people turn in applications with 6-12 months of employment history missing and the homeless shelter listed as the resident address, it’s unlikely that they will get a call-back for an interview.

One way to combat this stigma would be to create a type of “labor for rent” shelter program where tenants perform the basic maintenance a shelter requires (cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc…) in exchange for room and board. We’re talking 20 hours a week max. That way, when they apply for jobs, instead of listing “staying at the shelter” they can list “working at the shelter”. Essentially, we’d be providing work experience instead of just a place to sleep.

Then, of course, there are those extreme examples of homeless people who need individual attention. Take for instance the case of Million Dollar Murray. Murray was a man who was homeless on the streets of Reno for about 10 years. Throughout his time here, it was estimated that he cost the taxpayers upwards of a million dollars in emergency room visits, paramedic services and police resources. It was later discovered that it was actually more cost effective for the city to get Murray into an apartment rather than leaving him on the streets. As long as he had somewhere to go at night he wouldn’t be such a public burden. Though this rationale seems counterintuitive, it’s simply a matter of efficiency. You can read the entire article about Murray here: http://www.gladwell.com/2006/2006_02_13_a_murray.html

In any case, I certainly don’t expect the city to tackle this issue alone. We need a community solution for a community problem. The city can, however, provide the infrastructure needed so that concerned citizens and other organizations can begin to solve our homeless problem. Providing office and working space for nonprofits to operate out of would relieve the burden of rent so these organizations can stay focused on searching for solutions. Allowing access to public land and utilities for alternative treatments such as garden-therapy is another way the city can facilitate creative solutions. The list can go on.

I think the first step would be to create a Homeless Committee where all stakeholders (City representatives, police representatives, business owners who are affected by the homeless population, local non-profits and faith-based organizations, and concerned citizens) can combine and assess their available resources and openly discuss possible solutions. Only then can we work together towards solving our homeless problem instead of shuffling it around and sweeping it under the bridge.

5 Comments 9 Votes Acknowledged

At least going down Virginia or looping McCarrin. I thought they were planning to do this? I guess it was probably scrapped because of the economy.

4 Comments 9 Votes Referred
Small2_lost_city_farm

Include healthy, sustainable food system planning goals in the Master Plan. There is no mention of food in our current Master Plan. Change ordinances to clarify existing and new opportunities for local, healthy food production and distribution. The City recently adopted an urban farming ordinance but there are unclear and missing ordinances addressing developing a local, healthy, sustainable food system. Specific examples of planning goals with related links:

** Support and promote good nutrition and health. We are suffering and dying from unhealthy diets. All of this preventable but our toxic food environment makes it difficult to choose healthy. Businesses want healthy employees, schools need healthy children, and we all want to live in a healthy and prosperous community. Let's make the healthy choice an easy choice for everyone!

http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/states/pdf/nevada.pdfhttp://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/healthyfood_environment.htmhttp://www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/ES_ResearchFindings.pdf

** Facilitate community food security + economic access to safe, healthy food. One in 4 children and 1 in 6 in our community are food insecure. This affects readiness to learn, success in the work force, and long term health. The numbers keep growing. How can we let this happen in our community?

http://feedingamerica.org/sitefiles/child-economy-study.pdf

** Support existing and new opportunities for urban agriculture. Gardens improve property value and therefore tax revenue, attract local business, improve mental health, and reduce crime. How could something so simple solve so many problems? We need new ordinances to allow people to grow gardens for pleasure and profit in our community!

http://www.gardeningmatters.org/sites/default/files/Multiple%20Benefits_2012.pdf

** Support and promote local food production and sales.Demand for local, healthy food is high and one of the fastest growing segments of the food sector. Money spent on local, healthy, food stays in the community, further growing our economy.

http://static.squarespace.com/static/520ed291e4b066a62d157faa/t/5234d6f7e4b0c77d0b8e1357/1379194615978/North%20American%20Food%20Sector%20Program%20Scan%20and%20Literature%20Review.pdf

** Promote sustainable agriculture and food production.Daily food choices affect our environment and climate change. Supporting a sustainable food system improves food safety and is climate change protection!

Michael Pollan explains:http://www.nourishlife.org/2011/03/why-eat-local

** Reduce solid food-related waste and develop a reuse, recycling, and disposal system for food waste and related packaging. Forty percent of our food is wasted. Cities are converting their waste management division to waste recovery and reuse operations. Waste management offers composting in other communities. Why aren't we doing this?

http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf

Examples from other cities:

Seattle: http://www.seattle.gov/environment/food/food-action-plan

Milwaukee: http://city.milwaukee.gov/CityLegacySite/Urban-Agriculture.htm

Kansas City:http://www.kcmo.org/idc/groups/citymanager/documents/citymanagersoffice/022729.pdfhttp://www.kcfoodpolicy.org/sites/kcfoodpolicy.com/files/files/KCMO%20Urban%20Ag%20Codes%20Guide%20-%20booklet.pdf

Baltimore: http://baltimoresustainability.org/greening/food-systems

2 Comments 9 Votes Created

The downtown area would be a lot nicer if it was cleaned up. There are currently many vacant buildings, casinos and rundown motels lining virginia and nearby streets and it can be quite an eyesore, especially to people visiting our city first time. Something else should go in these spaces to liven it up a bit. The exterior of numerous buildings could also use some fixing up/beautification to create a more charming, welcoming atmosphere. This could make not only impact the citizens of Reno, but also those who are visiting our lovely city.

12 Comments 8 Votes Acknowledged

The city of Seattle had the same problem a few years ago. The city decided to build a housing facility to house the homeless away from the downtown area. It has been proven that when the homeless people (many who have drug and alcohol addictions) are given a stable home environment, they begin to get their lives back on track. I think if the city were able to provide housing to the homeless and get them away from the downtown area, it would dramatically improve the perception of the city of Reno. Also the city of Seattle was able to save 2-4 million dollars a year in providing housing to the homeless and many of the alcoholics living in the facility quit drinking entirely. Reno is ranked as one of the highest in the nation for alcohol abuse and I believe this would be a great way to help improve the perception of the city. Below is a link to an article explaining the benefits of homeless housing. Copy and paste into browser.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2008957119_webalcoholics01m.html

4 Comments 8 Votes Acknowledged