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Sparks City Council Meeting 3/23/2020

General Business: 9.2

Title: Presentation: Desert Research Institute Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Increased Travel to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center from Sparks.
Petitioner/Presenter: Neil C. Krutz, ICMA-CM, City Manager/David McGraw
Recommendation: Move to accept the study performed and report presented by DRI.
Financial Impact: N/A
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
    
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

According to a study commissioned by the CIty of Sparks and performed by the Desert Research Institute, a significant savings and mitigation in carbon emmissions from both present conditions and anticipated regional growth can be realized by building a road to more directly connect northern Sparks to USA Parkway and the Tahoe Reno Industrial center.



Background:

Significant industrial development in Storey County has stressed the region’s transportation infrastructure as an ever-growing population drives the 20 miles between Vista Boulevard at the eastern edge of Sparks and USA Parkway at the gateway to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center twice a day. Because about 80% of the workers at TRIC live in Washoe County, and about 80% of those people live north of I-80,  the City of Sparks commissioned a study by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) regarding the effect of building a new road through the southern Pah Rah Range to connect northern Sparks  to USA Parkway on greenhouse gas emissions in the region.



Analysis:

For every 1,000 cars that take the proposed route instead of I-80 about two-and-a-half tons of greenhouse gas emissions are avoided (the reason is simple: shorter distance traveled = less fuel burned) which significantly mitigates the impact of new development and the estimated 43,000 new housing units needed to accommodate regional growth over the next 20 years. Through a different lens, diverting just 10% of existing commuter traffic onto the proposed road saves about $106,000 per year in social cost of carbon. As the region grows, 5,000 new vehicles using the connector road instead of I-80 will save more than $426,000 annually in social cost of carbon. The study completed by DRI is a critical first step



Alternatives:

1. The City Council may accept the report and study as presented.

2. The City Council may reject the report and study and provide further direction to the City Manager.



Recommended Motion:

I move to accept the study performed and report presented by the Desert Research Institute concerning quantification of greenhouse gas emissions from increased travel to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center from Sparks.




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