Possible Reno VA expansion threatens permanent road closure

Reported by: Madison Corney
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Updated: 7/24/2014 11:55 pm
Reno, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – Officials with the VA Medical Center in Reno want to better connect the campus to the parking garage possibly shutting down part of Kirman Avenue permanently.

Residents say it shouldn’t even be a possibility, “Closing Kirman just, it seems to me that it ought to be out of the question,” says Lee Johnson, a Reno resident.

Neighbors surrounding the VA Medical Center aren’t happy about the idea of expanding the campus. The opposition voiced their concerns and shared ideas of how to better connect the now free standing parking garage to the medical center without shutting down part of Kirman Avenue for good.

“I heard a lot of really great suggestions and frankly some that we hadn’t talked about yet,” says Lisa Howard the Acting Director of the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System. 

The plan to connect the garage to the hospital came after safety concerns for veterans who are constantly crossing the street. 

“Well I don’t think anybody’s against helping veterans, however if the hospital is to be expanded I think it needs to be expanded on a sound business basis,” says Johnson. 

While many residents are worked up about the plan, Howard says this is the absolute beginning stage, We do not have a proposal in writing, we have said nothing to the city. This was our first grassrotts community effort to hear their ideas of how we can improve traffic flow.”

The possible shutdown of Kirman Avenue from Belli to Balzar wasn’t the only concern brought to light during the meeting; speeding, a lack of parking and traffic are other major issues that neighbors say need to be studied.

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amiigad - 7/25/2014 7:33 AM
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This is poor planning on the Medical Center's part. With the constant building going on at the VA Medical Center, the designers, planning committees, etc. should have seen this coming (for years) and included a sky walk in the design. Kirman Avenue is a vital access road, especially seeing the Reno planners clogged up Wells Avenue by downsizing from four lanes to two. I hope the city counsel and the planning commission realize that closing a portion of Kirman is NOT in the best interest of the citizens and not make the same mistake it made by allowing Mill Street to be closed at the Siena.

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