4th Street and Woodland Avenue Roundabout

Project Purpose

Improve safety and operations at the intersections of W. 4th Street and Woodland and W. 4th Street and Mesa Park.

This website explains the project development process, project features, and supporting information.

Map of project area

Project Development Process

Project Need

Both intersections are currently stop controlled with full access to and from 4th Street. There are high vehicle speeds on 4th Street, and traffic has a hard time finding gaps to make turns. These attributes pose a safety risk for increased crashes. Due to the steep grade on Mesa Park Road and skew angle at 4th Street, a study was required to develop options for safety and operational improvements.

current conditions map

Intersection Improvement Study Recommendations

Access Management

  • Limit access onto 4th Street to reduce conflict points for entering vehicles.

Multi Modal

  • Provide bicycle and pedestrian facilities.


  • Traffic calming geometry to reduce speeds on 4th Street for entering vehicles.
  • Provide a design that accommodates truck traffic as well as emergency response vehicles.

Other Design

  • Include roadway lighting specifically for conflict areas, including pedestrians and bicycles.
  • Minimal maintenance landscaping is recommended for any landscaping areas on the project.
  • Right-of-way will be required for construction of this project.

Intersection Options Evaluated

Alternative A – Traffic Signal at both Intersections

Alternative B – Roundabout at Woodland Avenue with a median at Mesa Park Road to control access

Alternative C – Roundabout at both Intersections (cost prohibitive due to available space without encroaching onto steep hillsides or private properties)

Preferred Design Concept

Based on a cost benefit analysis, including safety and operations as well as construction and maintenance costs, the preferred alternative selected is the roundabout at Woodland (Alternative B). Below is a figure displaying the intent of the roundabout design, as well as a design visualization to give viewers a feel for how the roundabout will look and operate.

Preferred design concept showing roundabout at woodland

Roundabout Benefits

Reduces crashes by 30%

  • Reduces number of conflict points from a typical intersection
  • Reduces crash severity by greatly reducing head-on and T-bone collisions
  • Reduces vehicle speed as vehicles approach the intersection

roundabout graphic

Reduces Delay

  • Improves traffic flow and decreases time spent at the intersection
  • Reduces number of vehicles queueing at the intersection

Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Reduces time spent idling at the intersection versus traditional intersection controls

Reduces Operations and Maintenance Costs

  • Eliminates costs associated with traffic signals: Power Costs
  • Re-Timing and Operation Costs
  • Equipment Replacement Costs

Increases Pedestrian Safety

  • Reduces time-at-risk for pedestrians by having two-staged crosswalks on each leg by using pedestrian refuge islands
  • Pedestrians only have to look at one direction for each crossing
  • Reduces vehicle travel speeds at crosswalks

Enhances Aesthetics

  • Provides opportunities for community and corridor placemaking, softening of edges, and visual appeal by using the central islands for landscape features and decreasing the amount of pavement


Project timeline showing construction starting in August 2022 and ending in July 2023


RTC Project Manager: Blaine Petersen, bpetersen@rtcwashoe.com

City of Reno Nevada Logo
Washoe County Nevada Logo
Nevada Department of Transportation Logo

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4th Street and Woodland Avenue/Mesa Park Road

Existing Conditions

The intersections of 4th Street and Woodland Avenue/Mesa Park Road are in need of safety and operational improvements. Woodland Avenue is under the jurisdiction of the City of Reno, Mesa Park Road is under the jurisdiction of Washoe County and 4th Street is under NDOT jurisdiction.

Both intersections are currently stop controlled with full access to and from 4th Street. The existing 4th Street roadway is a 55-mph arterial. Bike lanes are also provided along 4th Street. The existing topography includes a cut-slope greater than a slope of 2:1 slope between Mesa Park Road and 4th Street. In the existing condition, it is hard for drivers turning onto 4th Street to find gaps in traffic due to high speeds, the slopes, skew and short distance between intersections. This is also a popular bike route as it is part of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bike Trail. Due to these and other factors, there have been many user complaints regarding safety and operational issues at these two intersections.

Map of current intersection and proposed roundabout

The RTC conducted an Intersection Control Evaluation (ICE) in March 2020 and further consensus has been sought with the stakeholder agencies. A roundabout is recommended to improve the safety and operations of the intersection.

Additional Design Considerations:

Access Management Recommendations

  • There are currently multiple access points both north and south of 4th Street west of Woodland Avenue. Consideration should be made into closing/consolidating access drives so as to not inhibit roundabout operations.
  • Two access driveways appear to exist along 4th Street east of Woodland Avenue and directly across from the intersection with Mesa Park Road. Consideration should be made into consolidating these accesses into a single access drive.

Multi Modal Recommendations

  • Bicycle accommodation through the proposed roundabout at 4th Street and Woodland Avenue should be provided, including a multi-use path where bicycle riders can exit vehicle flow around the roundabout. Expert bicyclists will be given the option to share the lane with vehicles at the roundabout.

Geometric Recommendations

  • Design vehicle for the 4th Street roundabout should be a WB67. Design vehicle for Mesa Park Road should be local emergency response vehicle.
  • The southbound right turn from Mesa Park Road should provide a large enough turning radius to accommodate emergency response vehicles and while directing vehicles to the west at the stop bar, proper sight triangles should be maintained for drivers to look eastbound for oncoming traffic.
  • Consider adding a bypass northbound right-turn lane at the proposed roundabout at 4th Street and Woodland Avenue.
  • Consider extending the proposed median island on 4th Street at Mesa Park Road further to the west to discourage cut-through, or wrong-way driving.
  • Traffic calming geometry is recommended on the west leg of the proposed roundabout at 4th Street and Woodland Avenue to encourage drivers to reduce their speeds as they approach the roundabout.
  • Consider geometric elements to limit truck parking as it is not desirable in the project area.

Other Design Recommendations

  • Include roadway lighting specifically for conflict areas, including pedestrians and bicycles.
  • Minimal maintenance landscaping is recommended for any landscaping areas on the project.
  • Right-of-way will be required for construction of this project.

Design Process Recommendations

  • Construction would be done through an NDOT Encroachment Permit.
  • Begin coordination with stakeholders early including preliminary meetings with NDOT.

NDOT stakeholders include representatives from: District 2, Traffic Operations, Safety, Scoping, Right-of-Way, Structures, and Materials.