- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Officials are once again floating the idea of turning the Las Vegas Strip into a pedestrian mall, but skeptics say it’s impractical to divert traffic off the busy Las Vegas Boulevard.

About 63,000 vehicles travel the Strip daily. County Director of Public Works Denis Cederburg told Clark County commissioners last week that those vehicles would be forced onto nearby thoroughfares that are already over capacity, the Las Vegas Sun reported (https://bit.ly/212S7vO).

Officials explored the feasibility of a pedestrian-only Strip after the Regional Transportation Commission mentioned the idea in its comprehensive transportation plan for the Las Vegas Valley. Ideas include limiting the popular area to emergency traffic or certain types of transit.

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani is still pushing for the mall and has asked her counterparts to keep an open mind.

“I’m not expecting action today, but I don’t think it should be dismissed as we look at true integrated, multimodal access within this community,” she said. “With no disrespect to the resorts, the boulevard is ours. I can’t help that they designed properties that were so landlocked.”

Fellow Commissioner Steve Sisolak expressed concern that these ongoing pedestrian-only discussions could create uncertainty for area businesses, casinos and resorts.

“I don’t think we’re being fair to the industry to keep this hanging out there,” he said.

Sisolak also pointed out that a pedestrian Strip contradicts plans to build bridges in the area.

Commissioners voted to move forward with plans to build two pedestrian bridges at a combined cost of about $15 million. One would link Paris Avenue and Bellagio Drive while the other would connect the MGM Grand and Park Avenue.

While no action was taken on the pedestrian-only Strip idea, Commissioner Lawrence Weekly stressed the importance of involving people in future discussions.

“How do we get other people involved,” he said, “especially those who have made major investments?”

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Information from: Las Vegas Sun, https://www.lasvegassun.com


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