Downtown and North Carson

There’s an article in the Nevada Appeal about the Carson City Freeway, which should be opening very soon. For years we’ve been talking about what would happen to downtown and the businesses along Carson Street once the freeway was a true bypass, and that time is coming. Because while the freeway isn’t going to be completed when it opens next month, it will be done enough that most traffic, especially southbound traffic, will bypass downtown entirely. Freeway traffic will be routed along Fairview, and nearly anyone that’s “just passing through” will be going that way instead of taking the 25MPH slog through downtown.

But what do the downtown businesses think of this? The article has a mix of opinions from all sides, some business owners that think they’ll be hurt by the loss of traffic, others that say it won’t matter because they only serve locals anyway, and even ones who think business will get better because downtown will be a more attractive place once the highway traffic is gone. It’s that third option that the city is betting on, I know, but whether it’s actually going to play out that way is unsure.

There’s also an article, related in theme, about how the north end of town has been much more neglected than the south end. Most of the new construction and redevelopment in town is happening in the south, and that’s also where redevelopment funds from the city are flowing. Which leaves the north end with many empty storefronts, none more glaring than the old Kmart at College Parkway. North Carson Street has also already been impacted by the freeway, and will be even more so when the new phase opens, while the freeway won’t bypass south Carson at all for several more years. So there’s definitely an imbalance between the two parts of town. There’s even a bias on this site towards south Carson, simply because that’s the part of town I pass through on the way to work. So even though the whole town is struggling right now, those on the north are struggling more and having to fight harder.

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