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RTC to Consider 'Complete Street' Design | News

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RTC to Consider 'Complete Street' Design
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LAS VEGAS -- The rising death toll on Las Vegas valley roads has the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada considering the adoption of a street design for the entire region.

Called a "complete street," it is designed in such a way that considers the needs of drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and public transit.

Although the RTC is considering implementing the design into valley roadways, it is a timely and costly process.

Some areas already have implemented the complete street design, including parts of Henderson, which has bike lanes next to curbside transit and wider sidewalks.

RTC commissioners are expected to approve such a design during a meeting Thursday.

Jan McWhirter, who runs a business in Henderson's downtown Water Street District, said she is pleased with how well the complete street design works there.

"We love our street," she said. "I think the traffic flows better and (cars) don't speed through here as much as they did."

In downtown Las Vegas, the extra amenities are a must for Richard Ellis, who is wheelchair-bound.

"I've had two open heart surgeries and I just don't walk far or very fast," he said. "It just makes it easier to get in and out and around."

The cities of Las Vegas and Henderson have already adopted the standard for streets.

"It will definitely pass," RTC Commissioner Debra March. "I'm fairly optimistic."

March, who is also a Henderson councilwoman, helped get more than $10 million invested in her district and wants a billion dollar investment in the valley.

"This is huge and it's just much more mindful about the users on the road," she said. "It's not just motorists-friendly, but bicyclist-friendly. It's a transit rider whose sitting at a bus stop."

Or a retired wheelchair-bound construction worker, who is happy he can safely get around town.

"I don't worry to much about the drivers," he said, adding with a laugh, "I stay out of their lanes."

Lawmakers in Carson City, Nev., are considering a bill that would allow drivers applying or renewing their registration to donate $2 to the complete streets project. Other sources of funding could come from federal money or grants.

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