With the approval of its board of commissioners, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) today adopted “Complete Streets” design guidelines for Southern Nevada government entities as they plan and build streets so they can better accommodate all modes of transportation, including cars, bicycles, transit and pedestrians.
“Our communities are looking to modify how our streets are designed so they can better and more safely meet the needs of everyone who uses them — bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and motorists,” said Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown, chairman of the RTC board. “Complete Streets principles can successfully increase a road’s capacity, improve safety, stimulate economic growth, lower emissions and promote smarter growth.”
“As our communities continue to change and develop, people want to be able to walk and ride bicycles around their neighborhoods,” added Tina Quigley, general manager of the RTC. “Complete Streets enable our roads to become more inviting public spaces for everyone to enjoy and use safely.”
The Complete Streets design guidelines adopted by the RTC are based on similar standards developed for Los Angeles County but were customized for the needs of the Las Vegas Valley through a “Communities Putting Prevention To Work” grant from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) administered by the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). The guidelines provide local government entities guidance on applying Complete Streets principles, such as including bike lanes, wider sidewalks, more civic space, transit lanes, improved lighting and additional landscaping, to the planning and design of streets. They do not dictate how to design streets, but define what Complete Streets are and how transportation planners and engineers can consistently apply the principles with the ultimate result being a more livable neighborhood.
Complete Streets standards have been used in recent RTC projects, such as the construction of the Sahara Express, which added a curbside transit lane, median landscaping and wider sidewalks on Sahara Avenue, as well as the Boulder Highway Express, which included a curbside transit lane, new bike lanes, refurbished sidewalks, and median landscaping. These projects were developed collaboratively with input from the local jurisdictions, including Clark County and the cities of Henderson and Las Vegas.