OK, Regional Transportation Commission: You asked for it, you got it. The commission is putting together a plan for the next 20-plus years, and, through Nov. 26, the public is invited to propose priorities as RTC considers the future of transportation in the Valley, from downtown outward. Here are a few ideas from the staffs of DTLV and Vegas Seven.
• Get private companies such as Zipcar to bring car sharing to town. (This would work especially well around CSN, UNLV, Nellis Air Force Base and downtown.)
• Design future interchanges to be less confusing and dangerous. After decades of trying at the Spaghetti Bowl, the exits are still insane; there’s barely any room to merge before entering or exiting traffic.
Biking, walking and busing
• Before constructing more bike routes, connect the ones we have. Both recreational cyclists and bike commuters would benefit more from continuous intracity routes than from additional recreational routes outside of town.
• Build more sidewalks and fix the ones we have. Las Vegas cannot consider itself a modern city when so many of its pedestrians have no place to walk or stand without risking being plowed into by cars.
• Replace the 1990s-era bus stops. Having stops in the middle of the sidewalk and practically on top of traffic lanes was unconscionable in the ’90s, and it’s downright crazy now.
• Improve express service on the Strip. The current Strip-Downtown Express route gets caught in Strip traffic jams. A separate express line is needed—perhaps on Industrial/Frank Sinatra if the Strip is out of the question.
• Configure pass vending machines to accept charge and debit cards.
The big picture
• Pick an east-west thoroughfare like, oh, let’s see, Sahara Avenue — and devote it to non-auto traffic. Make a statement. (It could also connect with the urban trails system.)
• Get the state to work with the private Las Vegas Monorail Co. to extend the line to the Bonneville Transit Center and the airport—taxicab lobbies be damned.
• Put a trolley or light rail down the middle of the Strip, and make it an attraction—sleek and beautifully lit, with big windows and a transparent ceiling. It could be everything the monorail should have been.
• Connect the ’burbs and the urbs. Chicago’s got the El; let’s build the El-V.
• Sponsor an international contest to dream up a whole new form of mass transit.
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