Since the tracks were lowered in 2005, city of Reno staff have talked about and approved plans to use the covers for cafe-style seating, art or event spaces. The Reno City Council approved a $16 million pedestrian plaza with large trellises spanning the train trench lids.
The recession ruined the city budget and nothing ever got built.
A sound garden on the East
The city of Reno added a special events space on the east trench cover closest to Virginia Street in June. The new venue is wrapped in a permanent fence with new trees and cafe-style lighting.
It's part of an effort to help create a thriving downtown and university district, according to the city. The venue will host a free Thursday evening summer concert series in addition to allowing others to use it for weekend events.
Aug. 24, 2017 - Dainsley
Aug. 31, 2017 - Serina Dawn
Sept. 7, 2017 - Jellybread
Sept. 14, 2017 - Novelists
Sept. 17, 2017 - Dirty Revival
Sept. 21, 2017 - Funk Assassination
"Summer is special events season in our region, and this new venue will help the downtown area become an even more attractive place for people to hold their special events," City Councilwoman Neoma Jardon said in a news release. "It will offer visitors and residents an opportunity to enjoy the heart of our city."
The fence also creates a legal beer garden so people can drink alcohol outside instead of only during large-scale weekend events.
A dog park on the West
A group of downtown community members, called The Biggest Little Dog Park Coalition, successfully petitioned the city for help to build a dog park on the west trench cover between The Montage and Eldorado parking garage. The Reno City Council approved the money as part of the year's budget.
The proposed design for the park uses the grass area on the south side of the concrete lid while leaving the concrete and north grass open for other events, such as the Sculpture Fest. It would include two gated large and small dog areas. A third open relief area will finish off the design.
The landscaping would be made of artificial turf and trees that are pet safe and make clean up easier while reducing the need for Public Works to manage the grounds. Combined with lighting, seating and a water feature, the four of them hope it attracts tourists and locals since surrounding hotels are pet friendly. The plan is to finish the park by next summer.