Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 | 2 a.m.
It would be a mistake to build light rail along Las Vegas Boulevard as suggested in your Nov. 26 editorial.
An attractive feature of this road is the beautiful landscaped median, wonderfully lit at night. Light rail along the median would destroy this asset. Wouldn’t it block views of the Strip that people come from around the world to see?
Moreover, light rail systems are expensive — the article referenced at least $600 million in construction costs, which means it will be much more.
Instead, let’s maximize use of existing light rail infrastructure: our monorail. First, we should transfer ownership to the Regional Transportation Commission so federal mass transit funds could be used to modernize and expand it.
Extending the monorail to the Mandalay Bay offers the opportunity to add a spur to the airport. And the monorail can be extended from its northern station to downtown Las Vegas. We would have a truly unique regional elevated rail system that would provide all the benefits cited in the article.
The existing monorail stations only provide service to the east Strip hotels. Yet as part of its modernization, walking from its stations through the hotels can be more clearly marked and shorter, more direct routes created to the boulevard/west side hotels. This distance is relatively short compared to walking from light rail stations to hotels in other cities, like San Francisco.
Let’s focus on our modernistic light rail monorail system and fast track its expansion, not an expensive duplicate.