As part of a public comment period, the RTC reached out to the community to hear firsthand from the people who live and work in and around Maryland Parkway about how they want to travel – specifically discussing three options: enhancing the current bus service (Route 109), implementing bus rapid transit service or building light rail.
Questions from attendees ran the gamut. From project costs and projected economic development to maintaining travel lanes and improving pedestrian safety, the meetings enabled attendees to better understand the benefits and impacts of the three options.
“We’ve had extensive support and excitement around the light rail concept but any improvement would be awesome,” said Timo Kuusela, general manager of The Boulevard Mall, located in the heart of Maryland Parkway and where the RTC held one of its meetings.
At the public meeting held at the Fifth Street School, one resident expressed significant concerns regarding pedestrian safety, especially for students at UNLV, and proposed overhead pedestrian bridges be considered as part of the plan.
At the end of the public comment period, the local preferred alternative was the light rail option. However, after thorough consideration, the RTC Board of Commissioners voted to move forward with the less expensive, bus rapid transit option in April 2019.