Here's part of the article from the RGJ. I know Neoma Jardon has made the homeless one of her signature issues, so a hat tip in her direction is in order. More photos below, and it should be noted that the encampments along the river have spiked again. I'd guess since the usual post Burning Man surge, we are seeing on the order of 10 times the numbers, at least in the section of the river path I frequent, from downtown to the Mill and Rock exit.
A coalition of faith-based and human services groups is working to build a tiny house village for the homeless, but they need money and land.
They would also need the city of Reno to change its zoning and building code laws to allow for such homes to be built without bathrooms, kitchens or other code requirements that other builders are held to.
At the Reno City Council meeting Wednesday, Pat Cashell of Volunteers for America and Sharon Chamberlain of Northern Nevada HOPES presented their ideas for a tiny home village to help house the chronically homeless.
The plan is modeled after similar villages in Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Eugene, Ore. It would include 40 bare-bone houses that one councilwoman likened to a "tent with hard walls," including a roof and a locking door. The houses would be situated around a central building with bathrooms and kitchen facilities.
Cashell said the group would count on volunteers from youth groups, church groups and other community members to donate supplies and labor. He estimated each house would cost about $3,800 to build.
Chamberlain estimated the project would need a $270,000 operating budget, which would fund a project manager and case managers who could help connect residents to other social services and permanent housing.
The village would help close a housing gap that is widening as Reno comes to grips with an economic recovery that is driving housing prices up and vacancy rates down.
Human services agencies have seen wait times triple as they try to find transitional housing for chronically homeless individuals who can't make use of the shelter because they have a partner, a pet or a health condition that puts the shelter out of their reach.
Cashell, who spent 10 years homeless as he battled addiction, stressed such a project is critical.
"People without shelter die," he said. "I can’t stress this enough. These are human beings who actually die."
When Are Cyclists at Fault for Car/Bike Collisions? Almost Always
This post has stuck with me in part because it relates a close call I had with a car, and partly because I see cyclists often doing dumb things on the road. Not necessarily illegal things, but not identifying danger zones and riding cautiously but assertively in traffic. That is the fault of the cyclist, but also the fault of our lack of driver and rider education in this country. It's no wonder that some of the best cycling countries in the world have extensive bicycle education programs that start at a young age.
On my way home from work on Saturday I had one of the closest calls on my bike that I’ve ever had with a car. Or more accurately, a mini-van. It’s one of those common scenarios for a bicyclist, traveling in a right hand lane and an auto approaches the road from the right on a side street looking to make a left hand turn across my lane. Without pausing to thoroughly check both ways they pull out and hit the cyclist who clearly has the right of way. In my case the minivan driver started out across the lane just as I went by and came within inches of clipping the right back end of my bike. It was only after I turned around to yell and get a good look that I saw that he was on his cell phone and almost completely oblivious to my presence.
After calming down and the adrenaline subsided a bit I couldn’t help but remember that I was about a quarter of a mile away from the ghost bike memorial for David Pumphrey I took part in the ghost ride in his honor along with dozens of other cyclists.
In thinking about my close call, I had to admit that in reality, it was my fault that I almost got hit. I don’t mean in a legal sense. I most certainly had the law on my side (although the police typically do a bad job of enforcing the law when a cyclist is hit). And I don’t mean ethically. There is nothing ethical about running down a cyclist in a 2 ton piece of metal. But, as a cyclist I think that for the most part cyclists must be hyper aware of their surroundings and know how to make sure to be seen, double-check eye contact with drivers, use hand-signals, and simply make their presence known and recognize the potential for a bad situation before it happens.
In this case, the mini-van had very tinted windows making eye-contact impossible to confirm, but I was riding wearing a multi-colored jersey on a bright orange bike on a bright mid-day ride, and I was only going about 16 mph. But in the end I shouldn’t have assumed (hoped) that the driver saw me.
It seems to me about the only time we as cyclists have to just have some measure of faith that we are seen is when cars approach us from behind and we assert our place in the road while giving drivers the appropriate amount of space for the given lane width and driving conditions.
Over the many years I have biked on city streets I have had very few (amazingly few, really) close calls. Knock on wood. This is certainly because of the hyper awareness I mentioned above. There are times that I have felt almost a sixth sense about what the cars around me doing so I know exactly the safest (and usually legal) place to be.
In the end perhaps the most unnerving thing about my close call was that my instincts failed me and it was a good eye-opener for me as to the potential dangers all cyclists can face on the roads. Never be complacent, wear a helmet, and ride assertively but safely.
It seems like a good time to revisit this Portland to Reno bike tour post considering I've just spend the last few weeks in Portland. This tour stood in pretty stark contrast to the first tour I ever did crossing Nevada on highway 50. Green, green, green seems to be the theme of this ride. I also learned the benefits of front loading the bike on this tour.
The Team – Dan, myself, Greg, and Ed – Departing from Portland (click on the images to get a better view or go to my flickr page to get more photos from the trip).
It's taken me awhile to sort through the photos from our bike tour and I haven't really been all that motivated to do a thorough write up. Too busy relaxing I guess. But finally here is a smattering of photos from our Portland to Burney Falls State Park Bicycle Tour. We used the new Adventure Cycling Association Sierra Cascades tour map except for the first day when we connected from Portland over to the Mt. Hood area. Our improvised route to the official route was outstanding. The only problem we ran into was on highway 89 in northern California. Even though the map warned us of logging trucks and no shoulder I'm not convinced that it is a safe route for an organization to be touting as a bicycle touring route. Between the aforementioned logging trucks, RVers, and lack of a shoulder pretty every one of us had to bail off onto the dirt shoulder at some points during the ride. We pushed our way through to Burney Falls State Park which was a gorgeous place to wrap up the tour even if we ended up being about 2 days shy of rolling up to our own doorsteps. All told the trip was over 600 miles which was nothing to sneeze at especially when we were all carrying 40-60 pounds of gear. It was a great trip and we're already talking about a possible Oregon coastal ride next year. For me, I just need to stay fit enough to manage a credit card tour to San Francisco later this summer.
The views on the first day – Starting off with a bang!
Smooth Roads and lots of green.
I love that there was moss growing on the shoulder.
Dan's xtracycle handles the load.
First night camp – Ripplebrook
A little speed.
About to do a big descent with some snow in the background.
Smooth roads and no traffic.
We all took a bath in this river. It was so cold I think it took a couple of years off my life.
Greg with his Long Haul Trucker. This may be my favorite picture from the tour.
In Sisters, Oregon. Is that redundant given the bike rack?
Bend, Oregon, played host to the Cycling National Championships. Here they are setting up the stage as we rolled out of town.
I'm smiling because I thought we were at the top of the climb. I was so wrong.
Burney Falls – Where we called it a day.
It's pretty amazing to ride a bike that is 38 years old and discover that it gives up very little in the way of performance. Yeah it's lugged steel but with the downtube shifters and sewup wheels/tires it is remarkably light. More importantly, something about the tubulars just hums as it floats over the tarmac is pretty extraordinary. It's a bike that begs to get me into the drops which almost never happens on my modern road bike. More importantly, it inspires me to push it in the big ring which is not something I often do. A 10 speed bike that hums on the flats and sings on the climbs and descents. And it happens to be made by one of the premiere bike builders from the history of American Cycling...what's not to love!?
For over 12 Years I wrote the Reno Rambler Blog covering everything from Bicycle Advocacy, Reno Politics, Popular Culture, and my experiences as a long-time cyclist.