Thursday, January 17, 2013

Loop Road flip flop

EVER SINCE THE Jan. 12 ANNOUNCEMENT in the LTN feature articles  that the Horizion was laying off people and the entire property is set to revert back to Edgewood Properties in March of 2014……it's really got me too thinking about how that might be best utilized as we re-imagine the whole strip from Edgewood to Ski Run. As that corner would be integral  to ANY option for improving mobility there, I tried o conceive a mental picture of what it's best utilitarian (not necessarily economic) function would be.

Believe it or not, I see this as a potentially POSITIVE development. Certainly not for those who lost their jobs. I have been on unemployment 3 times myself times since 2008 so I completely empathize. BUT in the bigger picture of the future, this could prove significant. Here’ why.
There’s been so much contention around the Loop Road—I have argued for an east /west split Loop Road option……..but many questions remain to be answered: what about impact on the economy of the immediate area….and SLT overall? Does tunneling make sense? What’ll it’ll cost? Glass skyways ? What about the hole?
Perhaps what’s needed here is an entirely new perspective. and I'M STARTING TO GET ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON THE WHOLE ISSUE..   In fact I might say I've had an ephany about re-reoutinng Hwy.50 at all. Here's why:
With the stated goal of improving walkability/ bikeability and improving traffic flow, I have mentally constructed many alternatives [none include moving he entire stretch behind (south) of the casinos]. That southern route is a beautiful corridor, would eliminate too many aspen groves better suited to hosting gentle walking trails. and would impact far too many property owners.
Having lived and worked in Europe and being very familiar with their ped (and often’pet’) friendly shops and cafee’s, I tried to visualize a similar ambiance here between sky and sun blocking high rise buildings. Somewhow, It’s just not the same at the bottom of a a human made canyon even if traffic is significantly reduced and bike and sidewalk facilities are in.
The REAL views and potential to get people to walk, ride and shop are largely blocked by the the behemoth casino buildings. So, In short , LEAVE THE ROAD WHERE IT IS, Coordinate the traffic lights  maybe even take out one or two, but leave the hwy.  alone otherwise. Enhance the BACKSIDE of the clubs and the adjacent area (and of course, ‘the hole’). On the CA. side we can create quiet, scenic, ped/bike accessable opportunities. We can create an oasis of sorts with unique botique shops, lodging and eateries. Themes are always a way to attract a specific demographic. Anyone view the sunset / sunrise from the street level in casino row??

The trickiest part is what to do with the Horizon property and the whole ‘casinos vs. Ca'. sentiment,. I envision a transit center, landscaped parking , bike etc. rental, pedi-bikes (Rickshaws) and access to electric trollies and EV charging stations. The casinos perhaps have focused their day-time views away from the street scene and a state-of-the-art convention, exposition, entertainment, educational center is constructed at the hole. We must ensure that the entire zone prospers.
Now....I'm moving very far out on a slippery slope. IS it posssible for two states to form some sort of a BID in a specifically defined area? Would that not quiet the voices of NV. vs. CA, if the entire “project” were sharing the entire economic pie?
Would love to hear from some of you MBA’s or anyone who might have an educated opinion on this.

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