For years, there’s been talk in Clark County of further development along Maryland Parkway.
Maryland Parkway is centrally located, a heavily traveled route in Clark County, and home to UNLV. Beyond the Las Vegas Strip, Maryland Parkway is probably the most well-known stretch of road in Las Vegas.
"I think it is the interconnection to the Strip and then to where people live," Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani told KNPR's State of Nevada.
She said the street can really be broken up into three key parts, which are all vital to the city. The first section is McCarran International Airport and UNLV. The second section starts at Flamingo and is the retail section where the Boulevard Mall sits. The final section is the medical area where the Sunrise Hospital campus is located.
Maryland Parkway is likely to become the hub for a mass transit plan that could include light rail from McCarran Airport to downtown Las Vegas.
David Swallow is the senior director of engineering and technology for the Regional Transportation Commission. He said the environmental studies on light rail are finished. The next step is the public comment period. Following the public comment, the report will be turned over to the RTC board, which will ultimately decide.
Money for improving transportation along Maryland Parkway will come in part from a federal grant known as the New Starts Program.
Swallow said because Maryland Parkway is one of the busiest streets in the valley and because bus service along it is second only to the bus service on the Strip getting the transportation component right is important.
"How do we get as much capacity out of Maryland Parkway as possible?" he said, "We think a way to do that is to improve transit service but to also create a different experience for people when they're traveling."
Part of the development of Maryland Parkway includes public art. A plan for that art is scheduled to be proposed before the Clark County Commission in about two months.
Ric Jimenez is the founder of the Maryland Parkway Coalition. He said having art in the area improves quality of life.
"We already have a program with the Zap program where there is some beautiful artwork on various NV Energy electrical boxes and that program is alive and even expanding," he said.
Giunchigliani said the art portion of the revitalization effort could be something as simple as benches that look beautiful but are practical, but she said it was important the infrastructure of the roadway was completed first.
"What I don't want to do is waste taxpayer money by just resurfacing the road and not doing some of the other things that we need to have done beforehand because otherwise, we have to tear it up and spend it all over again," she said.
The public art isn't the only thing coming to Maryland Parkway. Jimenez said there is a new project planned for Harmon Ave. and the parkway.
"That is going to be a seven-story project with retail-entertainment on the first two levels," he said, "You're going to have UNLV offices. A few stories of apartment housing."
He said that project is part of an effort to build more vertically in the area.
Chris Giunchigliani, District E Representative, Clark County Commission; David Swallow, Senior Director of Engineering and Technology, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada; Ric Jimenez, founder, Maryland Parkway Coalition
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