When Mts. Edge traffic started using Red Rock as their commute to Vegas because the existing streets couldn’t handle the traffic, commuter and construction traffic in Red Rock escalated to unsafe levels. Even being 14 miles out of the way, driver’s still chose to “cut through” the Red Rock Canyon Scenic byway and go the long way, rather than navigate the under built, over-congested insufficient routes serving the area. It’s unbelievable that people would go 14 miles out of the way, but it was causing many problems in Red Rock Canyon so Save Red Rock supporters cried out and the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) responded. It was a construction truck using Red Rock as a bypass that hit and killed cyclist and metro officer Don Albietz, whose exemplary life is the inspiration for Save Red Rock. The critical issue (according to NDOT) being the traffic disparity between tourists and cyclists at slow speeds and commuters and construction traffic competing for the same route at much faster speeds. The mission of Save Red Rock to make Red Rock a safer place to escape from the city is being well served by this RTC study that can result in safer, more direct traffic patterns routed away from the canyon. All Southwest residents can benefit from improved roads and road planning that this study determines.
The RTC did an extensive study to determine alternate routes which would make good north-south connections to the 215 from Blue Diamond Highway. An effective north-south connector would be the perfect solution for Red Rock. It would be the most effective way to separate the high speed commuters from the slower tourists and recreators in the canyon. If commuters have a faster way to get where they are going, they’ll take it. I have a hard copy of the report, but it is way too big to put online. You may contact me if you would like to see it, or Jerry Duke at the RTC could help you.
Our favorite alternative from the report is to improve Fort Apache road, (to make it a quick, limited access connector to the 215). Our least favorite alternatives are: cutting a new freeway through the desert West of all existing roads and closer to Red Rock (a possible environmental disaster), and making Rainbow a major connection (too far in and too developed to be effective).
Thank you RTC for coming to our public meetings, hearing the need to protect Red Rock, and contributing this extremely detailed report on possible alternatives.
The RTC also works on bike lanes, paths, and maps throughout the valley and bike racks for public buses, and puts on a century, half-century, and family ride each year called the Viva Bike Vegas.