City tries to keep pace with making community more walkable

The city of Las Vegas and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada struck a deal last month bringing more than $5 million to downtown with the intention of improving pedestrian and bicycle travel in the area.

The improvements to parts of First Street, between Hoover and Bridger avenues, and along Garces Avenue, between Main and Sixth streets, are set to include the implementation of bicycle lanes, sidewalk widening, streetlighting, landscaping and signs. There is not yet a time line for the project.

The city is putting up nearly $1 million in addition to the nearly $5 million in Federal Transit Administration grant funds from the Regional Transportation Commission.

However, many feel that the project only scratches the surface.

“It’s one thing to create a bike lane. It’s another to maintain it,” Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin of Ward 3 said. “People can lobby hard enough for a bike lane and they might get one, but there is no money to maintain it.”

These issues are just the beginning of a much larger problem, according to Coffin.

“We just don’t have the money to maintain our current infrastructure,” he said. “We have an aging infrastructure that, on the books, looks like billions of dollars (in repairs).”

Community activist and Ward 3 resident Martin Dean Dupalo spent three months walking the neighborhoods around his home documenting the poor conditions of sidewalks in certain areas of wards 3 and 5.

Dupalo said he found more than 12 miles of nonexistent or intermittent sidewalk and more than 400 curbs not in compliance with federal Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

“The sidewalks seem to just stop and start randomly,” Dupalo said. “Sometimes there’s sidewalk, sometimes there’s dirt. Often, there’s no ramp on the corners for wheelchairs and strollers to get up. Utility poles choke the sidewalks that are there and make them too narrow for wheelchairs and people with walkers. It’s a mine field out there.”

Dupalo said he estimates that 10,000 to 12,000 people with disabilities live in wards 3 and 5 , and he believes city officials are turning a blind eye to the problem of pedestrian safety.

“There is a difference between being unable to maintain and completely neglecting it,” he said. “This is a basic need, but it’s not a sexy project that politicians can put their name on.”

Many of the neighborhoods in these wards are some of the oldest in the city and predate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“So, although (the sidewalks) do not meet the standards, they are not required to,” city spokesman Jace Radke said in an email. “The city does replace older sidewalks as funding becomes available and coincides with work (of) other roadway projects.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act website states, “There is no ‘grandfather’ clause in the ADA. However, the law is flexible. … while public entities that have less than 50 employees are not required to comply with limited sections of the Department of Justice’s regulations, such as maintaining self-evaluations on file for three years and designating a grievance procedure for ADA complaints, no general exemption applies. All public entities, regardless of size, must comply with Title II’s requirements …”

In other words, the law requires that the city have a plan to address those areas.

Another side of the problem is motorists who drive too fast on roads engineered for high speed, according to Erin Breen, director of the Safe Community Partnership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas .

Areas such as Maryland Parkway near the university campus, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, have a posted speed limit of 35 mph, Breen said, but factors such as the comfortable width of lanes make speeding easier.

“The roads aren’t engineered for 30 (mph), they’re engineered for 45 (mph),” Breen said, citing the wide streets, long distances without traffic lights and relatively flat geography.

“It’s a true enforcement issue,” she said. “We just don’t have the officers.”

Breen said pedestrian safety has improved over the years, so much so that some may feel the job is done. “A lot has been done for pedestrian safety, but the question we need to keep asking ourselves is, ‘What more can be done?’ ” she said.

There is a need for continued construction of pedestrian amenities such as mid-block crosswalks, Breen added.

Still, Coffin said pedestrian and bicyclist access and ease of travel would be more of a priority if the funds were available.

“We’re happy that any money can be spent, but it’s not enough,” he said. “It is very frustrating.”

Another problem facing downtown residents is the lack of personal amenities such as groceries, said Sam Cherry, owner of Resnick’s Grocery , 900 Las Vegas Blvd. South, meaning people are forced to walk longer distances.

“I live downtown, and since Day One it has been a concern about where to get those personal amenities,” Cherry said.

The nearest grocery stores are one to two miles outside of the area, and “that’s not in the spirit of a true downtown,” he said.

Resnick’s Grocery, which opened nearly two years ago, has tried to “fill that gap,” according to Cherry.

Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Nolan Lister at nlister@viewnews.com or 702-383-0492.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth after LV Bowl
Linebacker George Helmuth talks about Fresno State's turnaround. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Youth cancer survivor receives gift bat at Winter Meetings
Cancer survivor Steven Mondragon, baseball player at Los Altos High in Hacienda Heights, California, received a complimentary bamboo bat during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFR Day 9 Highlights
Highlights from round 9 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR 2018- Will Lummus Leads in Steer Wrestling
As NFR 2018 enters day nine, steer wrestler Will Lummus continues to see his name at the top of the standings. Las Vegas Review Journal host Cassie Soto speaks with the Mississippi native about his excitement to be participating in his first ever NFR.
John Saccenti on the Las Vegas Bowl's future
Las Vegas Bowl executive director John Saccenti talks about the game's future. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Mbacke Diong on his offensive improvement
UNLV forward Mbacke Diong talks about his offensive improvement. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
NFR dirt is the most important part of the rodeo
NFR has bull riding, saddle bronc, barrel racing, tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, and bareback riding but one of the most important part of the rodeo according to construction maintenance manager Allen Rheinheimer is the dirt that they all take place in. Review-Journal sports writer Ed Graney chats with Rheinheimer and ground man John Jamison to get an inside look at the dirt in Thomas & Mack at the National Finals Rodeo.
North Las Vegas Pedestrian-cyclist Survey
North Las Vegas officials are seeking comments from residents in hopes of bettering their experience in the city. An online survey has been set up for citizens to share their opinions and give their suggestions.
NFR Day 8 Highlights
Highlights from round 8 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR - Wyatt Denny Talks About Representing Nevada
NFR Bareback Rider Wyatt Denny talks to host Cassie Soto about being the only Nevada representative in the NFR this year and his skiing talent.
Junior NFR Offers Breakaway Roping for Girls
Unlike the NFR at the Thomas and Mack Center, the Junior NFR at the Las Vegas Convention Center offers breakaway roping for girls 19-and under. This event allows the young women of rodeo one more event to participate in, aside from barrel racing.
North Las Vegas Pedestrian-Cyclist Survey
North Las Vegas officials are seeking comments from residents in hopes of bettering their experience in the city. An online survey has been set up for citizens to share their opinions and give their suggestions.
NFR Day 7 Highlights
Highlights from the 7th go-round of the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Jessica Routier
NFR Barrel Racer Jessica Routier talks about being at her first NFR, her horses, and her family with Cassie Soto in front of Thomas & Mack before round 7 of the National Finals Rodeo.
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
NFR Day 6 Highlights
Highlights from the 6th go-round of the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
Las Vegas Bowl Teams Talk Shop at Maverick Helicopters
Arizona State, Fresno State talk to the media at Maverick Helicopters.
NFR- Will Lowe
NFR Bareback Rider Will Lowe talks with Aaron Drawhorn about his 15 years at the NFR, starting to ride at age 7, and renewing his wedding vowels this year in Las Vegas before night 6 of the National Finals Rodeo.
Veterans Village
Veterans Village and Veterans Village II were created to assist homeless veterans get back on their feet. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday party cocktails
Veterans Village II Unveils Model Container Home
Veteran's Village II unveiled a model container home. The organization will be building 10 of these container homes to house veterans of the village. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
NFR Day 5 Highlights
NFR Day 5 Highlights
NFR- Kory Koontz
NFR Team Roper Kory Koontz talks about his years at the event since 1992, his dynamic with a 23 year old partner Dustin Egusquiza, and how he contines to perform with diabetes with Aaron Drawhorn outside of Thomas & Mack before round 5 of the National Rodeo Finals.
Meet the woman behind the Las Vegas Bowl
Melissa Meacham-Grossman is the associate executive director for the Las Vegas Bowl. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFR Highlights Day 4
NFR highlights day 4
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like