Fuel for Thought is a periodic newsletter of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). The newsletter’s goal is to keep Southern Nevadans informed about the progress and accomplishments from their contributions to the Fuel Revenue Indexing initiative (FRI). Proceeds from FRI are funding 221 transportation projects throughout the valley and adding approximately 9,000 jobs, supporting economic diversification and improving the quality of life for all Southern Nevadans.
Keeping pace with growth in the region has always been a challenge. With our population forecasted to grow to three million by 2040 and our visitor volume to increase from 41 to 53 million by 2030, Southern Nevada is at a critical juncture in its transportation landscape.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) wants to hear from you about your transportation values. It is no secret that our community’s needs far outweigh the resources available when it comes to our infrastructure. As the RTC prioritizes projects throughout the valley, the agency wants your input and opinions through a short online survey.
The RTC recently created the Transportation Resource Advisory Committee (TRAC) of 36 community and business leaders who will evaluate the survey results and provide direction about our community’s transportation values and potential funding mechanisms.
So, tell us... do you value increasing safety or minimizing congestion? Is maintaining existing roads or building new ones more important? Your feedback on these and other issues is critical as we work to prioritize projects based on available revenue.
Please take a few minutes to complete our survey at rtcvision.metroquest.com. We encourage you to share it with your network of friends, family and business associates. The more feedback the RTC receives, the better it can shape the valley’s landscape to reflect the priorities of our residents.
There are numerous construction projects currently underway throughout the valley from utility work to private development, often leaving commuters frustrated with the sea of orange cones.
To help ease this frustration, the RTC launched Seeing Orange to provide the public with a resource for gathering construction information. We’re proud to announce that the RTC has entered into a data partnership with Waze, a free, real-time crowdsourced navigation app powered by the world’s largest community of drivers. The RTC provides construction, crash and road closure data to Waze to return one of the most succinct, thorough overviews of current road conditions today.
Waze arms drivers with information so they know what to expect during their commute. For example, the much talked about Clark County Water Reclamation District’s Paradise Whitney Interceptor project is a multi-phase project so the location and duration change. Through real-time updates and road detours, Waze will determine the best routes for its users.
We have also revamped our Seeing Orange website to include a project map with information about the top construction projects currently underway, as well as information about how construction projects are prioritized, how cones end up on the road and RTC’s cone management strategy. You can view the new website by visiting www.seeingorangenv.com
Authorized to raise funding for transportation infrastructure projects from January 2014 through December 2016, FRI will provide $700 million for 221 transportation projects, creating 9,000 jobs. Unfortunately, FRI can’t fund all of Southern Nevada’s transportation needs in just three years. In fact, it is estimated there are approximately $6.4 billion in unfunded, but critically needed, projects to enable the region to move people and goods efficiently, improve mobility and maintain an enhanced quality of life.
Realizing the importance of community input on prioritizing the projects that still need to be funded, the RTC created TRAC, the Transportation Resource Advisory Committee, to provide guidance on the RTC’s vision for Southern Nevada’s transportation system and ensure that it is in alignment with the community’s needs and demands. TRAC will also help the RTC inform and educate Southern Nevada residents, partners and a diverse network of organizations about the agency and its various transportation initiatives.
Comprised of about 30 diverse community leaders representing a range of industries and sectors in Southern Nevada from business, education and professional groups to civic organizations, TRAC is committed to the region’s economic viability via a transportation infrastructure to meet growth now and in the future.
TRAC will consider the issue of how to fund these unfunded projects. Without FRI, $22.4 million in local funding will be available per year over the next decade at a time when Southern Nevada is projected to gain at least 500,000 new residents and continue to break visitor records – all placing additional stress on our already congested roadways. Voters this fall will determine if FRI continues for another 10 years to ensure the infrastructure is in place to meet growth and make the region more economically viable.
Community collaboration is a key component of the TRAC process, which held its first meeting in January. The RTC and TRAC also is seeking input from residents about transportation needs and priorities through an interactive survey tool that will provide the RTC needed feedback to understand transportation needs and priorities of a growing community. To take the survey, visit http://rtcvision.metroquest.com
Public meetings will be held throughout 2016 at the Southern Nevada Water Authority, 100 N. City Parkway, Suite 700, Las Vegas, NV 89106 in the Colorado River Room from 3 to 5 p.m.
To stay informed and for meeting dates, visit the TRAC website at rtcsnv.com/TRAC
Two significant Fuel Revenue Indexing (FRI) projects were launched in January that will improve the safety and travel experiences for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
The City of Henderson celebrated the groundbreaking of a $7.3 million project to improve travel on Racetrack Road. Henderson Councilwoman and RTC Vice Chair Debra March, Councilwoman Gerri Schroder and City of Henderson Public Works Director Robert Herr hosted the event at Heritage Park Aquatic Complex on January 20.
The project, due to be completed this December, includes:
The Racetrack Road project also includes drainage improvements to help prevent flooding and standing water in the area. This piece of the project is funded with $775,000 from the Clark County Regional Flood Control District and $125,000 from developers.
View a recap of the event and get a first look at the future improvements.
Twenty miles north, Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick activated a newly installed, FRI-funded traffic signal at Lake Mead Boulevard and Sloan Lane on an early morning in late January.
This traffic light is critical to ensuring pedestrian safety in the area, which is home to the Bob Price Community Center, Cora Coleman Senior Center and nearby Mountain Paradise Village Apartments. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) also has a transit stop in the vicinity that provides service to nearly 100 customers per day.
These two projects join the many others that are underway or already completed in the valley. Together, these projects are improving commutes, increasing connectivity, enhancing safety and putting people back to work.
Pedestrian and vehicular safety around Cheyenne High School and adjacent neighborhoods in North Las Vegas received a major boost with the opening of a $6.8 million project that included underground flood control.
Constructed in part with Fuel Revenue Indexing funds, the project refurbished Simmons Street from Alexander Road to Red Coach Avenue and added LED street lighting, pavement markings and signage to enhance motorist and pedestrian safety. A new traffic signal with flashing school zone lights was also added at Gowan Road, a significant improvement in an area where students, parents and faculty travel to an elementary and middle school as well as the 2,200-student high school on West Alexander Road.
At the event, speakers and students from Cheyenne High School, Theron L. Swainston Middle School and Richard C. Priest Elementary School joined Clark County, the City of North Las Vegas and Regional Flood Control District representatives.
To emphasize community safety, Cheyenne High School cheerleaders and marching band, and local government leaders led guests down Simmons Street to unveil an oversized poster reading, “I pledge to keep my community safe,” which guests signed.
“Thanks to the project, commute times will be much quicker, but more importantly, our community will be much safer,” said Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, who lives in the project area.
North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, an RTC board member, added, “An efficient transportation system that provides connectivity, reduces commute times and meets the needs of our growing community is critical to attracting new businesses, residents and improving safety for drivers and pedestrians.”
One of the first four FRI-related projects launched at North Las Vegas in 2014, this project supports Southern Nevada Strong’s (SNS) goals to increase the community’s transportation options and improve safety. The RTC is the administrator of the SNS Regional Plan. Visit SouthernNevadaStrong.org for more details.