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Is Las Vegas a Bike-Friendly Town
Is Las Vegas a Bike-Friendly Town

AIR DATE: June 7, 2011

Portland, Boulder, and San Francisco consistently rank in the top 10 bike-friendly cities.  Las Vegas isn't on that list.  So what would it take for Las Vegas to become a bike-friendly city?  Is it just a matter of adding a bike lane... or changing our city's mentality?  And how would drivers feel about more bikers and bike lanes?  Cyclists and the RTC director weigh in.  Do you think Las Vegas can be a bike friendly town?  Should it?

Jacob Snow, GM, RTC
Lisa Catterbone, Founder,
Dave Revzin, cyclist


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With passing of the "3 foot passing law" its now time to MARKET this thru public service announcements or with RTC, state and fed agencies to adopt a catchy campaign. Everybody knows about subways' "five dollar foot long" sub sandwich. It's time for everybody to know the "3 feet rule". What about "Got Road? - Gimme 3 feet"
Steve BellJun 27, 2011 10:06:10 AM
I think RTC is doing a great job! There will always be more that can be done but being a rider in both New Jersey and Las Vegas, Las Vegas is, in my experience, significantly better. Also, the bike clubs are in action about educating their riders. I have rode with the GVC (Green Valley Cyclists) for years and I was trained to obey the laws.
Collin BurnellJun 15, 2011 20:44:57 PM
The trail systems need to connect more of the urban areas. For example Henderson has trails that start and just end at dirt they lead no where. A trail built along the 215 would allow riders to have a direct connection to shopping.
Josh MartinezJun 15, 2011 16:32:28 PM
I've been here biking here for 30 years and I've seen some progress but the growth has been continual for car access to the roadways and only limited growth for bikeways. I lived in St George, UT for 3 years and they had growth too, on a smaller scale but they established some key bike trails that are separate from the roadway. They expanded that trail system as the city grew and it made a big difference for bike travel. I think Las Vegas could do the same with the current trail system. There is a great flood system that has been built with county land, someone needs to use some of this land for a trail system.
C SpencerJun 15, 2011 11:24:09 AM
You correctly mention Boulder, Portland, San Francisco. But in order to proactively counter the inevitable RJ editorial opinion that bicyclists are just a fringe group of liberal eco-freaks, we can point to Iowa, a midwestern Red State. Each July, over 10,000 cyclists cross the state west to east for 7 days of riding. Near as I can tell, the entire state embraces the RAGBRAI nearly unanimously. Iowa has shown that it is cool to wear your cycling stretchy pants in the conservative heartland, and so let's make sure that improving bicycling infrastructure in Las Vegas valley does not get turned into a simplistic politically bipolar issue.
BrettJun 15, 2011 10:56:16 AM
I believe that enforcing cycling rules more strictly, for both cyclists and automobiles would go a long way in helping control aggressive drivers. I have biked in Reno, NV which seemed much more bike friendly than here in l Las Vegas. The drivers there are much less aggressive and I felt overall much safer biking there. The drivers were much more patient and understanding when it came to cyclists, probably due to education of vehicle drivers about cyclists.
DavidJun 15, 2011 09:53:05 AM
If Jacob Snow thinks that Sahara and Charleston are not good east to west corridors for cyclists, what roads does he recommend. Most of the roads do not go completely through. Desert Inn does, but many places on D.I. are just as dangerous as Sahara and Charleston. Why, in the planning of the changes to Sahara, were bicycles left out of the plan? This would have been a prime opportunity to create a safe east to west corridor. Instead, an existing, though somewhat unsafe, corridor has been completely taken away.
LynettaJun 15, 2011 09:53:01 AM
I bike from Henderson to work at UNLV a few times a week. Mostly it's a good ride, as long as I go early enough, 6am and 4pm, so that traffic is lighter. The closest I have come to accidents are when I have to bike past a middle school, and the parents are trying to push and shove their cars up to drop off their kids, with no regard to cyclists in the bike lane. Very frustrating. I would think that people with children would be more aware.
Kate Jun 15, 2011 09:45:16 AM
Kate, I too have thought about riding to work and think I've found a safe route. I did the route once and near campus the road conditions get worse and worse - deep cracks on pavement in need of repair and lots of debris (glass and tire parts). It seems the drivers in and around campus are unaware of cyclists, maybe they aren't use to seeing them so I've given up on the idea of riding to work because of the issue of safety. Kudos to you though!!
DalyJun 23, 2011 13:32:38 PM
I too, moved here from Boulder, and not only is Vegas a much less bike-friendly place in terms of infrastructure, but I feel it is also a lack of education on the part of drivers for how to respect multiple users of the road....they have no clue about sharing the road, and being safe...not turning in front of bikes, etc. There is an attitude of "these roads are for cars not cyclists, so cyclists need to stay off them". This was driven home when I read a letter by someone to the editor of the RJ saying that these roads are for drivers, and cyclists should be licensed and taxed if they want to use them....
Teresa OwensJun 15, 2011 09:43:44 AM
I have a few ways that would help make Vegas a more bike friendly town. I am an avid cyclist and ride 300-400 miles per week. Although Vegas has many bike lanes they are poorly maintained. In Henderson I would estimated most lanes are not even swept once a month. Most bike lanes are full of broken glass and rocks which are huge hazards to cyclists. Also the sensors on most traffic lights do NOT recognize cyclists. If there is no motor traffic present lights will NOT turn green at some intersections; if your on a bicycle you will either wait many light cycles for a green signal or have to treat the light as a stop sign and proceed when traffic is clear. To me it is clear the roads in this valley are designed with one vehicle in mind, cars not cycles.
Ryan KennyJun 15, 2011 06:10:01 AM
Ryan, please join and share your ideas. The members and Lisa, the administrator, is actively involved and maybe we can work together to improve the roads and trails for bicyclists. There's gravel and glass on St. Rose and Maryland Parkway at the start of the trail my husband and I use several times a week and we are going to sweep it, LOL.
DalyJun 23, 2011 13:28:37 PM
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