If you do not need a rental car for your visit, you can easily get to Carson City, Douglas County and Reno.
The "Pride" is a cheap bus that gets you to/from the airport, Reno, Carson, and Douglas County. http://www.rtcwashoe.com/transportation/pride/
Once you are in Carson City however, public transit (JAL - "Jump Around Carson") is not as developed, but is constantly improving. http://www.carson-city.nv.us/jac.htm
Traffic congestion is usually slow in the small downtown area, but a bypass is suppose to be built starting this year. So, I would imagine the roads will be even worse than normal once the construction starts!;) Also, this area is growing by leaps and bounds, so it's likely you'll "run into" road construction somewhere in Carson Valley.