It is my belief that the Las Vegas City Council voted appropriately in their decision to not make Grand Avenue two lane for a five-block distance. Grand Avenue is an inter-city highway. It serves as a business loop through Las Vegas. It also serves as a route for emergency vehicles to traverse the city as well as to quickly exit to emergency situations on Interstate 25.
In the year 2000 a consultant firm, Molzen-Corbin & Associates, was contracted by Las Vegas to do some master planning. This firm subcontracted with URS Corporation to prepare a Grand Avenue Traffic Impact Study for the City of Las Vegas as well as the New Mexico State HIghway and Transportation Department. The study purpose was to analyze traffic conditions and to propose improvements to enhance safety and mobility along the Grand Avenue corridor. The project limits extended the full length of the Grand Avenue business loop from the south I-25 interchange to the north I-25 interchange.
This study included traffic volumes and forecast data through the year 2020. Needless to say, in reviewing this report the Grand Avenue corridor handles a very high volume of traffic. The study is specific and scientific in its scope of existing and future traffic volumes, operation conditions of each intersection, and recommendations based on a summary of its findings.
This study gave no recommendations whatsoever to make Grand Avenue a two lane on the proposed section. Kudos to Councilman Madrid, Councilman Roybal and Mayor Tony Marquez for a correct vote in not disturbing traffic flow on Grand Avenue.
In addition, it is my strong feeling that a construction project on Grand Ave disturbing the flow of traffic on the corridor during these bad economic times would be devastating to all of our businesses and Las Vegas’ tax base. Hundreds of cars exit onto Grand daily. They gas up, shop in stores, eat at restaurants and stay in motels. Those of us on North Grand —”the fish upriver” — could potentially starve in 60 days. I believe that many of us would be forced to close and could not survive a construction project “downriver.”
Suppose Grand Avenue existed now as a two lane. Our city would be looking for funding to make it four lane to handle the amount of traffic it has to support. The infrastructure is in. Let’s keep it. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.