Transportation officials are looking to improve the safety of citizens who use public transportation after more than a dozen deaths occurred at Las Vegas Valley bus shelters in the last decade.
Since 2007 there have been eight crashes at Las Vegas area bus stops, leading to 13 deaths, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada said.
To improve safety, the RTC is following the path taken by Clark County with its Las Vegas Boulevard bollard project.
Twenty bus stops located in high-traffic areas will be protected with steel posts, aimed at preventing motor vehicles from traveling up on sidewalks leading up to bus shelters.
The bollards are about four-feet tall, interconnected by underground steel frames and are designed to withstand the impact of a 15,000-pound-vehicle traveling 50 mph.
“The safety of our passengers is the RTC’s highest priority. At this time, we’ve moved back all of the stops where we have available right-of-way five feet behind the sidewalk, so we’re looking to incorporate other ways to increase the comfort and safety of our customers waiting at busy stops,” said Carl Scarbrough, director of advertising, amenities and technical equipment with the RTC. “That includes additional lighting and examining the results of this bollard pilot program to determine how we move forward in enhancing our public transportation system.”
The RTC approved contractor Kimley-Horn for the $125,500 pilot program at its meeting earlier this month and will begin the design phase in January.
The bollards are expected to be in place by the end of next year, as the project is slated to take 11 months from the design to the installation phase.
As the RTC gets its project off the ground, the county is well into its bollard initiative aimed at protecting pedestrians on the Strip.
The first wave of bollards was installed on Las Vegas Boulevard in November 2017, and the county has since placed about 1,600 of the steel posts in various sections of the Strip, according to the county. As result, 11 bus shelters on the Strip are already protected by bollards, according to the RTC.
Around $9 million has been spent on the initial steel posts on the Strip, with an additional $30 million expected to be spent on the project next year.
An additional 4,000 bollards are planned to be installed on Las Vegas Boulevard next year, with that work beginning in the spring and finishing in the summer, said Dan Kulin, county spokesperson.
Thursday marks the three-year anniversary of when a woman drove her vehicle onto the sidewalk in front of Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort, killing one person and injuring over 30 more.
Thus far the steel posts on Las Vegas Boulevard have yet to be struck by a vehicle, Kulin said.
Brock Sullivan, a Dallas, Texas, resident who visits Las Vegas three or four times a year, said he’s noticed the bollards — like the ones he stood near the bus shelter on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Sahara Avenue — going up along the Strip, and their presence make him feel safer.
“Once they expand the project and it’s more focused on the center of the Strip, where its more heavily populated and people are more inebriated, I think it will be beneficial,” Sullivan said.