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Status of US 395 Business in Reno

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oscar:
Note: This thread was split from the general Nevada thread on 8/28/2022. Figured the dedicated thread would be better for more detailed discussion and/or future research.  —Roadfro

Some users on the Travel Mapping forum have noted that the US 395 Business route in Reno is poorly signed (except at its north end, where the business route meets the US 395 mainline and is concurrent with NV 430). They wondered if the route has been decommissioned (or TM should treat it as decommissioned) and remove it from the TM database. One of them said also that the business route was hard or impossible to follow through downtown Reno, at least northbound, due to recent "road diet" changes to Virginia St. I am TM's highway data manager for Nevada, and would welcome any input on this issue.

AIUI, the Reno business route was approved by AASHTO in 1972, though that doesn't necessarily mean AASHTO would have to approve its decommissioning. It was originally state-maintained, but NDOT transferred it and concurrent NV 430 to local maintenance over the years except the northernmost segment.

As in California, most business routes aren't state-maintained, but NDOT usually mentions them on signs from major intersecting routes it does maintain. For example, US 395 Business through Carson City (created from mileage removed from US 395 as it was relocated onto I-580) is signed from I-580 at both ends. NDOT also shows some of them on its latest (2019-2020) official state highway map, including the Reno business route (at least the locally-maintained part north of I-80), as well as the locally-maintained Business US 95 in Las Vegas.

But the Reno business route isn't signed at its south end or from I-80, or probably anyplace else south of Virginia St.'s northern intersection with McCarran Blvd (NV 659, which itself is a major route with only one route marker). The AARoads pages on the route indicate that's been true for a long time. That includes when TM's predecessor Clinched Highway Mapping project (whose webmaster was especially strict about omitting unsigned routes) included the Reno business route in its mapping.

Any thoughts? In particular, any local newspaper coverage or other information indicating that the Reno city government has decided to decommission the city-maintained portions of US 395 Business, rather than just allowing them to become unsigned through neglect?

pderocco:

--- Quote from: oscar on August 26, 2022, 06:15:14 PM ---Some users on the Travel Mapping forum have noted that the US 395 Business route in Reno is poorly signed (except at its north end, where the business route meets the US 395 mainline and is concurrent with NV 430). They wondered if the route has been decommissioned (or TM should treat it as decommissioned) and remove it from the TM database. One of them said also that the business route was hard or impossible to follow through downtown Reno, at least northbound, due to recent changes to Virginia St.

--- End quote ---

I don't see how it's hard to follow, given that it's just about a straight line.

If someone is trying to get somewhere, using directions that include BR-395 as one of the road names, then lack of signs would be a problem, to be solved by specifying Virginia St instead. But if they're trying to follow an historic route, they don't need signs, they need a map and some common sense. The old US-395 alignment is pretty obvious from US-50 to the California border.

oscar:

--- Quote from: pderocco on August 26, 2022, 10:05:48 PM ---
--- Quote from: oscar on August 26, 2022, 06:15:14 PM ---One of them said also that the business route was hard or impossible to follow through downtown Reno, at least northbound, due to recent changes to Virginia St.

--- End quote ---

I don't see how it's hard to follow, given that it's just about a straight line.
--- End quote ---

AIUI, starting sometime this summer, northbound traffic must now turn off Virginia St., and use another street to continue NB for several blocks before it can return to NB Virginia St. At least at first, the reroute was confusing and poorly signed, not friendly to travelers trying to cross through downtown (which might've been part of a "road diet" plan).

mgk920:

--- Quote from: oscar on August 28, 2022, 01:32:12 AM ---
--- Quote from: pderocco on August 26, 2022, 10:05:48 PM ---
--- Quote from: oscar on August 26, 2022, 06:15:14 PM ---One of them said also that the business route was hard or impossible to follow through downtown Reno, at least northbound, due to recent changes to Virginia St.

--- End quote ---

I don't see how it's hard to follow, given that it's just about a straight line.
--- End quote ---

AIUI, starting sometime this summer, northbound traffic must now turn off Virginia St., and use another street to continue NB for several blocks before it can return to NB Virginia St. At least at first, the reroute was confusing and poorly signed, not friendly to travelers trying to cross through downtown (which might've been part of a "road diet" plan).

--- End quote ---

The Union Pacific mainline was reworked through that area.  UP's main track and the  Amtrak station (trains 5/6, the California Zephyr)  were placed in a trench to bypass a congested section of downtown Reno streets.

Mike

roadfro:

--- Quote from: oscar on August 26, 2022, 06:15:14 PM ---Some users on the Travel Mapping forum have noted that the US 395 Business route in Reno is poorly signed (except at its north end, where the business route meets the US 395 mainline and is concurrent with NV 430). They wondered if the route has been decommissioned (or TM should treat it as decommissioned) and remove it from the TM database. One of them said also that the business route was hard or impossible to follow through downtown Reno, at least northbound, due to recent "road diet" changes to Virginia St. I am TM's highway data manager for Nevada, and would welcome any input on this issue.

AIUI, the Reno business route was approved by AASHTO in 1972, though that doesn't necessarily mean AASHTO would have to approve its decommissioning. It was originally state-maintained, but NDOT transferred it and concurrent NV 430 to local maintenance over the years except the northernmost segment.

--- End quote ---

This is kind of a hard question to answer. I don't think Reno's US 395 BUS has ever officially been decommissioned, but the emphasis on signing it has obviously waned since the route was originally commissioned. But as things stand now, I wouldn't jump to remove the route from the TM database.

It's true that the recent changes to Virginia St in downtown Reno make the route impossible to follow in the northbound direction from roughly 1st St to 5th St. The City of Reno's Micromobility Pilot Project took out the northbound lane to make way for two-way bikes/scooter travel, including a portion of two-way cycle track. (Reno also put in protected bike lanes along 5th St simultaneously as part of this pilot, and entered into a franchise agreement with Bird e-scooters around the same time as this pilot kicked off.) However, the modifications to Virginia Street are a temporary part of the pilot project, and are scheduled to be removed in November 2022, at which point they'll do further study and see what kinds of infrastructure to move forward with more permanently, if any.


--- Quote ---As in California, most business routes aren't state-maintained, but NDOT usually mentions them on signs from major intersecting routes it does maintain. For example, US 395 Business through Carson City (created from mileage removed from US 395 as it was relocated onto I-580) is signed from I-580 at both ends. NDOT also shows some of them on its latest (2019-2020) official state highway map, including the Reno business route (at least the locally-maintained part north of I-80), as well as the locally-maintained Business US 95 in Las Vegas.

But the Reno business route isn't signed at its south end or from I-80, or probably anyplace else south of Virginia St.'s northern intersection with McCarran Blvd (NV 659, which itself is a major route with only one route marker). The AARoads pages on the route indicate that's been true for a long time. That includes when TM's predecessor Clinched Highway Mapping project (whose webmaster was especially strict about omitting unsigned routes) included the Reno business route in its mapping.

--- End quote ---

NDOT generally does a decent job signing business routes from freeways. However, signage once you get off the freeway is not always great in the bigger cities. Part of this may be because the business routes are not always state-maintained. A good example of this Reno's I-80 Business Loop. There are supplemental signs for the business route on either end (approaching Keystone Ave eastbound and McCarran Blvd east westbound), but no signage indicating where the business route goes once you're off the freeway...Keystone Ave, 4th St/Prater Way, and Victorian Ave are all almost exclusively controlled by their cities, and there is very little signage of I-80 Business along the way (including indication of where the route turns).

You are correct that US 395 Business is not signed from the US 395 freeway itself on the south end, nor is it signed from I-80. (US 395 Business used to be signed on the Virginia St signs, but that was prior to my coming to Reno in 2001.) On the I-80 off ramps to Virginia St, they replaced signs pointing toward US 395 Bus when I-80 was reconstructed circa 2009-2010 (e.g. Street View of US 395 Bus sign on I-80 west off ramp), but there's no additional signs directing to the actual business route.

I will also note that there is an end sign at the south end of the business route, on Virginia St just before reaching the final I-580/US 395 interchange. Street View from June 2022 shows how the signage was incorrectly altered to reflect this section of Virginia St being changed from SR 430 to US 395 Alt several years ago, but the next most recent Street View from 2019 shows how the End US 395 Business signage looked previously—the signage today would be correct if it were signed as "South Alt US 395" and "End South Business US 395". Note that this section of the route is still under NDOT maintenance.

Side note: US 95 Business along Rancho Drive in Las Vegas is not locally maintained—it is still state-maintained as SR 599. You won't find any US 95 Business shields on that route, but there are some scattered SR 599 shields.


--- Quote ---Any thoughts? In particular, any local newspaper coverage or other information indicating that the Reno city government has decided to decommission the city-maintained portions of US 395 Business, rather than just allowing them to become unsigned through neglect?

--- End quote ---

Nothing newsworthy to provide in this regard... Use of highway numbers (aside from freeways) is not really ingrained in the cultural lexicon here, so there's likely not a high priority for the city government to ensure signage is up and consistent. If there is or had been a concerted effort to decommission a business route like this, I'd be the first to mention it here and add it to an appropriate article on Wikipedia. So with all that said, I'd reiterate recommending against removing US 395 Business from the TM website at this time.

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