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We're Growing Again But Can Schools, Mass Transit Keep Up?

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Clark County is growing again.

After the recession, population fell slightly. But the county's population stands at more than 2 million and that growth is expected to continue. 

So that we aren’t again caught off guard by the need for better mass transit, more parks, housing and education, a blueprint has been created addressing all those areas.

It’s called the Southern Nevada Strong regional plan. Thirteen agencies were involved in creating it and are now involved in implementing it.

Debra March is a Henderson City Councilwoman and she chaired Southern Nevada Strong's steering committee.

"We're building a brighter future," she told KNPR's State of Nevada. "I think we can look at how we plan all the way around through our zoning and planning decisions to make sure we don't have food deserts, to make sure we don't isolate people from good schools, that we have better connectivity." 

The regional plan covers all of those issues along with health care, quality housing for all income levels, and reliable transportation, which is where the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission comes in. 

Tina Quigley is the general manager of the RTC. 

"That's really what a regional plan is connecting all these different activities, connecting people from where they are to where they need to go," Quigley said.

Support comes from

One of the biggest topics in transportation in Southern Nevada is a light rail system.

Quigley believes it will happen. She said they are already moving forward with plans to run a line along Maryland Parkway. But, she said light rail is only one component of improved transportation in the valley.

"You're starting to see public sector transit agencies now partner with private sector innovators, who probably can move people as efficiently if not more efficiently and more comfortable and more expeditiously than a traditional fixed route transit system can," she said.

March and Quigley say the plan laid out by Southern Nevada Strong is not going to end up sitting on a dusty shelf someone but will be a force to change the area for the better.

"Once you've started a conversation like this you really can't drop it," Quigley said.

Guests

Tina Quigley, general manager, Regional Transportation Commission; Debra March, Henderson City Council, chair of Southern Nevada Strong steering committee

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