By Alan Snel ▪
Ah, good ol’ Nevada State Road 159. Also known as good ol’ West Charleston Boulevard, where the two-lane state road that cuts through Red Rock Canyon enters the suburban high-end, pricey, crime-never-happens-here mega-sprawl known as Summerlin.
As the road leading to the Red Rock Scenic Drive and the federal Bureau of Land Management open spaces, West Charleston/SR 159 has turned into quite the busy corridor with weekly incidents of all types.
Last week, it was an 18-wheeler blocking nearly the entire width of 159, with the trailer stuck in the dirt and sand while trying to pull out of the unofficial parking areas along the two-lane state road.
And this morning, it was a bad scene of a damaged motorcycle and a smacked-up sedan on the southside of the road near the West Career & Technical Academy high school. Take a look.
Just so you know, Nevada DOT, the secret is out that Red Rock Canyon is a really nice place to visit.
It’s no longer a quiet state road.
It’s become a corridor with runners on the shoulders, vans staying overnight next to the flood retention basin and motorists and motorcyclists passing one another like they’re at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (or the 215 Beltway).
Oh yes, it’s a popular stretch for bicyclists, too.
The Red Rock lure is a powerful one.
The scenic drive and BLM land are a stunning resource when you consider it’s literally only minutes outside one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country.
In my book, Bicycle Man: Life of Journeys, I have a story on how I have met half of my friends in Las Vegas at the scenic drive overlook. (Buy the book for $20 by emailing me at [email protected])
And lo and behold, I met a bicyclist this morning. I saw his West Point bicycle jersey and asked him about it because I lived in a village called Cornwall-on-Hudson near West Point and reported on the U.S. Military Academy while working for a daily newspaper in the Mid-Hudson River Valley about 60 miles north of New York City.
His name was Mac and we actually swapped quite a few Hudson Valley and bicycle stories.
Here’s Mac biking the Loop approaching The Big Red Stripe.
We both were bicycling into Summerlin when we came about the motorcyclist/motorist crash scene.
I understand that nothing can be done without an agency study and consultant’s report.
But I wouldn’t oppose police generating revenue for Clark County by cracking down on the dangerous motorists who endanger my life as a bicyclist.
And immediate traffic calming moves would be acceptable in my book, too.
The carnage around here seems like it’s an acceptable part of doing business on the roads of Las Vegas.
And that is so sad.