Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 | 2:58 p.m.
The famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign along Las Vegas Boulevard could be getting some improvements to increase pedestrian safety.
The issue: In September, commissioners asked staff to study and report back on ways to improve pedestrian safety around the sign. That report was presented to the board on Tuesday.
The vote: No action was taken; instead, commissioners advised staff to work on building a crosswalk across Las Vegas Boulevard to the sign.
What it means: A new stoplight and crosswalk could be installed across Las Vegas Boulevard to provide pedestrians easier access to the 54-year-old sign located south of Mandalay Bay.
Staff presented the council with four options on Tuesday: the crosswalk, two bridge options and an option to relocate the sign to the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard.
The crosswalk was the cheapest, easiest option and would cost about $300,000 to install. It would likely be built as part of a $500,000 expansion to the sign’s parking lot that commissioners approved in April.
The crosswalk, which would begin operating in early 2014, would be paid for using a portion of room tax revenue earmarked for vehicular and pedestrian improvements in the resort corridor.
Commissioners seemed to prefer the bridge options because they wouldn’t disrupt the flow of traffic, but they were turned off by the $2 million-plus price tag for each.
The most drastic option would have moved the sign from the median to the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard, about 500 feet south of where it stands, at a cost of $3.3 million.
Commissioners advised county staff to begin work on the crosswalk but to also search for ways to eventually fund construction of a permanent bridge.
“When you look at that particular sign, it’s a world renowned iconic type sign. It’s an entrance to what we consider the world-famous resort corridor. Why are we nickel and diming something that’s so important to us?” Commissioner Lawrence Weekly said.