The Regional Transportation Commission won’t decide on it until September, but a proposed light-rail line for Maryland Parkway is going to be a hot topic this summer.
Shortly after a three-part series about the proposal ran last week in the Review-Journal, a rumor emerged that Las Vegas officials opposed the commission’s plan to run the light-rail trains along curbside lanes that would be shared with vehicles, rather than a designated centerline as seen in other cities.
Turns out that’s not the case.
Las Vegas Public Works Director Mike Janssen said the city is “100 percent behind” the project.
“There have been discussions about the line being placed curbside or in center lanes, but either scenario has the city’s support,” Janssen said. “In fact, the line will use both alignments when complete because there are center lanes already constructed downtown on Casino Center Boulevard that the light rail will utilize.”
Even though the Maryland Parkway project hasn’t been approved, North Las Vegas officials are drawing up plans for a light-rail line connecting a revitalized downtown area to the Veterans Affairs medical center.
City leaders envision a route running roughly 11 miles primarily along North Fifth Street from Owens Avenue to Deer Springs Way, cutting east to the VA medical center, then heading north on Pecos Road to the proposed site of a secondary campus for UNLV.
The idea came about after North Las Vegas received a grant from the RTC to examine the “highest use of development based on high-capacity transit,” said Gina Gavan, the city’s economic and business development director.
Meanwhile, the RTC is examining the proposed Maryland Parkway and North Las Vegas light-rail routes as part of a larger study on how evolving technologies might help to improve access and capacity in some of Southern Nevada’s busiest corridors over the next 20 years.
It was unclear whether the Maryland and North Las Vegas light-rail lines would connect — or how that might happen — but Gavan said she believes a train could be running through her city as soon as a decade from now, depending on the availability of money.
“For us, light rail would bring economic development and it would help move employees to the jobs we’re creating in North Las Vegas, while also bringing some traffic relief to our roads,” Gavan said. “Incorporating those elements would make us competitive economically as we continue to attract companies into the city.”
No passing allowed
Liz from Las Vegas wanted to know whether carpool lanes could be used for passing slow-moving vehicles.
Trooper Jason Buratczuk of the Nevada Highway Patrol emphatically said no, high-occupancy vehicle lanes are not meant for passing.
“It has a solid white line, which means you may not cross it unless you have two or more people in your vehicle and you need to get in our out of the HOV lane,” he said.
School zone woes
Even though school is out for the summer, Helen from Summerlin said she is concerned about parents who park their cars in red zones along her street, near Bonner Elementary, 765 Crestdale Lane.
“My car barely fits down the road when this happens, so I am sure an emergency vehicle wouldn’t be able to squeeze through,” Helen said in an email. “The situation gets worse every year as the student population grows.”
Margaret Kurtz, a spokeswoman for the city of Las Vegas, said crews will spend the summer reconfiguring Crestdale Lane between Town Center Drive and Hualapai Way. This should provide additional on-street parking and address traffic issues around the school.
Costco construction disrupts bike path
Ron from Henderson wanted to know when the designated bicycle path will reopen on the south side of St. Rose Parkway, between Eastern Avenue and M Resort.
“Construction has torn up the path and cyclists are required to detour across the ever-dangerous St. Rose Parkway.”
Kathleen Richards, a spokeswoman for the city of Henderson, said the bicycle path was closed for the construction of Costco at St. Rose and Amigo Street. Expect the bike path to reopen by early fall, coinciding with the opening of Costco, she said.
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— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 will close in the area just below Interstate 15 from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. Crews will build a freeway bridge and install a traffic management sign.
— The ramp linking southbound I-15 to northbound U.S. 95 will close from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. Crews will build a freeway bridge and install a traffic management sign.
— The Martin Luther King offramps from northbound and southbound I-15 will close from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. Crews will build a freeway bridge and install a traffic management sign.
— The Martin Luther King offramp from northbound U.S. 95 will close from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. Crews will build a freeway bridge and install a traffic management sign.
— The D Street onramp to southbound Interstate 15 is closed through mid-July. Crews are working on Project Neon.
— Sections of Bonneville Avenue, Charleston Boulevard, Grand Central Parkway and Martin Luther King Boulevard will have closed or disrupted lanes surrounding the Spaghetti Bowl as crews work on Project Neon through July.
— Ogden Avenue will be restricted between Main Street and City Parkway through mid-October. Crews are making street, sidewalk and lighting improvements.
— The Charleston Boulevard onramps to southbound Interstate 15 are closed until mid-October. Crews are rebuilding the intersection.
— Interstate 15 will be narrowed in both directions between Sahara Avenue and D Street until Nov. 20. Crews are widening the freeway.
— The ramp connecting southbound U.S. Highway 95 to southbound I-15 will be reduced to one lane and detoured through Nov. 20. Crews are widening I-15.
— The ramp linking southbound U.S. 95 to northbound I-15 is closed through Nov. 20. Crews are widening I-15.
— The Martin Luther King Boulevard onramp to southbound U.S. Highway 95 is closed until early 2019. Crews are building a high-occupancy flyover ramp.
— Gass Avenue will be restricted between Las Vegas and Charleston Boulevards through March 2019. Crews are making improvements.
— Both directions of the 215 Beltway will be intermittently reduced to one lane between Craig Road and Hualapai Way from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly through mid-July. Crews are building freeway lanes.
— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 are narrowed to a single lane between Skye Canyon Park and Paiute drives through July 12. Crews are building an interchange bridge.
— Buffalo Drive is restricted between Gowan Road and Cheyenne Avenue through July. Crews are upgrading a gas line.
— Tenaya Way and Torrey Pines Drive are restricted between Gowan and Craig roads through July. Crews are upgrading a gas line.
— Gowan Road is restricted between Buffalo and Torrey Pines drives through July. Crews are upgrading a gas line.
— Craig Road is restricted between Torrey Pines Drive and Decatur Boulevard through July. Crews are upgrading a gas line.
— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 will be narrowed to two lanes at Elkhorn Road through December. Crews are building a carpool ramp.
— Jones Boulevard will be restricted between Tropicana and University avenues through Friday. Crews are doing sewer work.
North Las Vegas
— Las Vegas Boulevard will be restricted at Craig Road from Tuesday to Saturday. Crews are completing a sewer project.
— Las Vegas Boulevard will be restricted at Nellis Boulevard from July 2-6. Crews are completing a sewer project.
— U.S. Highway 93 will be closed in both directions beneath Interstate 15 from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly from Wednesday to Saturday. Crews are building a freeway bridge.
— Interstate 15 will be narrowed to one lane in both directions at U.S. Highway 93 from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly from Wednesday to Saturday. Crews are building a freeway bridge.
— Nellis Boulevard is restricted between Cheyenne Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays through July. Crews are installing sewer pipes.
— Center Street is restricted between Burkholder Boulevard and Lake Mead Parkway through June. Crews are making road improvements.
— Stephanie Street will be restricted between the 215 Beltway and Cielo Abierto Way through October. Crews are repaving the road and making other improvements.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $3.25 per gallon. It was $3.27 in Nevada. The national average of $2.85 is down 5 cents from a week ago, down 10 cents from a month ago and up 58 cents from a year ago.