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February 08, 2005

ARCHIVE: Road Congestion


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Day to Day, February 9, 2005 - Environmental activists and transportation officials in Las Vegas remain locked in a legal battle over the widening of Nevada's U.S. highway 95. Proponents of the road believe it will ease traffic congestion, while opponents warn that expansion will increase air pollution. NPR's Luke Burbank reports.

PLASKON: On the bright side, Frank Moretti of TRIP, The Road Information Project gave Nevada a B for the quality of its roads and bridges.

MORETTI: A very positive grade. The states forecast however indicates that it doesn't have enough money to keep roads in this condition unless they are able to increase funding.

PLASKON: While the quality of roads is good, the quantity of traffic on those roads isn't and earned the state a D grade in the report. Traffic is growing nine times faster than new capacity is being added according to the report. That makes the roads dangerous. The report also said Nevadan's are 30 percent more likely to die on roads here than around the nation. Finally the bleak analysis goes on to report half of roads in the state are above capacity and the state needs double its budget for in order to meet planned projects to alleviate congestion over the next 10 years. TRIP's Frank Moretti said, spend more money.

MORETTI: Our report found that Nevada faces a 3 billion dollar backlog over the next 10 years in funding the road and bridge and highway projects in order to improve traffic safety.

PLASKON: Clark County's Deputy General Manager Curtis Myles said the road conditions will deteriorate regardless of road construction.

MYLES: Absolutely, I think that you will have a worsening report unless you have a multi mobile approach to the system.

PLASKON: A multi mobile approach is alternative transportation and because Las Vegas doesn't have much of it, he says the report card will be worse next year. TRIP's report does not address that. Instead, the organization funded by 136 road construction companies recommends expanding 6 freeways around the state. Myles downplays expansion as a solution. He cites RTC studies reporting that on the strip for instance it would take 14 lanes of traffic in each direction to accommodate future traffic projections to downtown. And US 95 will be maxed-out if it is expanded too. The Sierra Club is suing the Federal Transportation Administration to consider alternatives to expansion such as using the U-S 95 right of way for public transit rather than more highway lanes. Erik Olson is the Sierra Clubs transportation expert.

MYLES: Those roads are typically going to become full to capacity within 3 years and building more roads doesn't solve the congestion problem it may postpone it but it in the long run creates more traffic congestion.

PLASKON: Clark County's Deputy General Manager Curtis Myles said that one reason for focusing on expansion of freeways to alleviate congestion rather than alternative transportation is that freeways have a shorter approval period in federal funding processes. However, today the Federal Transit Administration reported that communities do want more public transit and announced 1.5 billion dollars worth of funding for it around the nation. The Las Vegas Monorail extension to downtown was listed too. But the administration recommended not funding it citing operational and financial complications. It did however keep the option open that private investments in the monorail could leverage federal funding for some transit system to serve downtown.

Ky Plaskon, News 88-9 KNPR

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Apr 4, 2009 | Drug Donation Program
Nevada lawmakers are debating the creation of a program that would help cancer patients get expensive prescription drugs for less.

Mar 13, 2009 | Budget Wrangling
As state lawmakers wrestle with Nevada's multi-billion-dollar budget deficit, there are several plans afoot aimed at softening the next economic bust.

Mar 2, 2009 | Autism
The cost of treating children with autism can be $24,000 to $40,000 per child per year according to the Autism Coalition of Nevada. A bill before the Nevada Legislature aims to help families pay for the care.

Feb 16, 2007 | Chinese New Year
This weekend marks a celebration of Chinese New Year. KNPR's Rick Andrews reports on how the holiday is being celebrated by the valley's growing Asian community.

Dec 7, 2006 | Food and Beverage
The economy of scale for food and beverage operations in Las Vegas means any edge in efficiency is real money. Rick Andrews reports on a software product scoring with food and beverage managers looking at the bottom line...and what you're likely to order.

Nov 15, 2006 | Global Gaming Expo
The Global Gaming Expo trade show and conference got underway Tuesday in Las Vegas. Vendors showcase their latest wares including new slot machines.

Nov 1, 2006 | Stardust Memories
When it opened in 1958 the Stardust was the world's largest hotel. Now, after more than 48 years, it's closed.

Sep 27, 2006 | Nevada Northern Railway
The 'Nevada Northern' is celebrating its centenial anniversary. News 88.9's Rick Andrews went on a tour of the museum with executive director Mark Bassett.

Jun 30, 2006 | Standing Up for Ringo
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley tells the story of how she saw the Beatles in Las Vegas in August 1964.

Jun 29, 2006 | Sports Supplements
From fortified cereals to energy drinks to serious sports nutrition, people are willing to spend lots money to supplement their diets. Rick Andrews reports on the business of sports supplements.

May 25, 2006 | Love
Wednesday Cirque du Soleil provided a glimpse of their much anticipated show based on the music of the Beatles. Flo Rogers reports on Love.

May 24, 2006 | Telecommunications
A Senate telecommunications bill currently being considered includes provisions on most everything, but some worry that controversial measures will derail the entire package.

May 16, 2006 | Nanotech
Universities across the country are spending millions to expand nano technology research...manipulating molecules 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. Rick Andrews reports on nano research at UNLV.

Apr 24, 2006 | Earthscope
Hualapai Mountain Park, near Kingman, has been chosen by the National Science Foundation to be home to a seismic monitoring station. Gillian Ferris Kohl reports.

Apr 18, 2006 | Anatomical Donation for Science
In the second of two reports exploring innovative medical facilities in the Valley, Rick Andrews visits the Medical Education and Research Institute of Nevada in Henderson.

Apr 12, 2006 | Immigration Reform Stalled
Immigration legislation in the U.S. Senate is at a standstill. Many in the Republican Party blame Nevada Democrat, Senator Harry Reid for the impasse. Jill Morrison reports from Capitol Hill.

Apr 1, 2006 | New Plans for Nellis
The first of April brings news that a large piece of military land in Las Vegas may be redeveloped.

Mar 28, 2006 | Test Site Worker Compensation
Senator Harry Reid is trying to get compensation for Test Site workers who were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, but never compensated.

Feb 27, 2006 | StoryCorps - Alice Keys
Alice Keys has been active in the African American community for decades and known through her association with the Moulin Rouge Casino. Here's her recollection of meeting one of the great African Americans of the last century.

Feb 21, 2006 | StoryCorps - Alan Morel and Mike Genoshe
When close friends interview each other, the stories are often more intimate and revealing than talking to a reporter. A case in point is Alan Morel and Mike Genoshe talking about their hopes for their adopted son.

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