The city of Las Vegas will celebrate the first ever Nevada Moves Day on Wednesday, April 28, with several activities designed to encourage Nevadans to bicycle and walk to school, and to promote bicycle safety. To kick off this special day, designated by the Nevada Department of Transportation, Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow plans to leave his car at home and ride his bike to work. Barlow, who will be joined by Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) General Manager Jacob Snow, is also riding to draw attention to the importance of cleaner and greener commute modes.
“We are dedicating this journey to the two recent bicycle accidents, one which took the life of a 13-year-old boy,” Councilman Barlow said. “It is more crucial than ever for our youth and their parents to learn the importance of bicycle safety. Today’s event will educate and highlight the steps students and drivers must take to ensure a safe route to their destination.”
At 7:30 a.m., Barlow and Snow plan to leave the Fresh & Easy store parking lot at 3053 N. Jones Blvd., and peddle 9.36 miles to City Hall. Their route will take them through much of the ward Barlow represents by traveling south on Torrey Pines Drive, turning east on Washington Avenue to pass by Lorenzi Park, at 3333 W. Washington. From there, they will ride south on Rancho Drive, east on Alta Drive, and then north along Grand Central Parkway to Las Vegas Boulevard, to arrive at City Hall at approximately 8:45 a.m.
At 2 p.m., Barlow will be joined by Ward 1 Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, Snow, and other Ward 5 Bicycle Advocacy Coalition representatives, at the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, 1201 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Coalition members plan to talk with students about bicycle safety, the new bike lanes near the school and crossing streets safely. Some lucky students will receive a prize of a new bike, courtesy of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Traffic Division, Look Out Kids About, Councilwoman Tarkanian and others.
The coalition is made up of representatives of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Traffic and Bicycle Units, the Clark County School District Safe Routes to School Program, the Look Out Kids About Safety Organization, the Las Vegas Bike Club, and Bikes Belong – Interbike, along with the city of Las Vegas and the RTC.
“I am pleased to be working closely with my fellow councilman and organizations such as Look Out Kids About, Bikes Belong, Metro, NDOT and the RTC to encourage more students and residents to ride bikes more often,” Councilwoman Tarkanian said. “Supporting Safe Routes to School in Las Vegas is an ideal project affording our students safe, active and healthy transportation to and from school. Our partnerships provide a positive impact on our city and the health and safety of our young and older residents with a higher quality of life.”
The RTC’s mission is to improve mobility and air quality in Southern Nevada. Snow added, “By making bicycling a more convenient option for residents we can achieve that goal and I’m so pleased that leaders like Councilman Barlow and Councilwoman Tarkanian are supportive of these types of initiatives.”
The city has undertaken an ambitious bike lane installation program. With a $100,000 American Recovery And Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-R), bike lanes are being installed on Vegas Drive/Owens Avenue, between Rancho and Bruce Street; on Washington, between Rancho and Martin L. King Boulevard; and on Smoke Ranch Road, between Rancho and Rainbow Boulevard. The grant is being administered by the city of Las Vegas Department of Neighborhood Services, with Department of Public Works staff managing the project.
Last September, two $10,000 grants helped build 3.2 miles of bike lanes in Ward 5. A $10,000 grant was provided by the Bikes Belong coalition of bike-industry retailers and suppliers and Interbike, its industry tradeshow partner. A matching $10,000 grant was provided by the RTC. The funds were used to purchase materials for new bike lane markings and signs on J Street, between Washington and Carey Avenue; and on H Street, between Bonanza Road and Lake Mead Boulevard.