Las Vegas Sun

September 25, 2018

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To avert more bus-stop tragedies, officials consider adding steel posts

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Wade Vandervort

Construction workers install bollards along the Strip sidewalk in front of Paris resort, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada wants to install steel bollards in front of 20 transit shelters across Las Vegas in 2019, similar to what Clark County has been instituting over the last year to protect pedestrians on the Strip.

Since the RTC began overseeing area bus stops in 2007, eight fatal crashes have taken place resulting in 13 deaths, officials said.

“We’ve spent millions of dollars on Las Vegas Boulevard (installing bollards) … every year we have one or more tragedies (at bus shelters),” County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said last week during a presentation on the program at a county meeting.

The program’s feasibility, including which high-traffic bus shelters are being considered, is being studied by transportation officials and is expected to be heard at an upcoming RTC meeting.

“We are looking at doing a pilot program, considering a number of shelters throughout the valley,” said David Swallow, senior director of engineering and technology at RTC. “(It’s) unfortunately a level of protection that needs to be added.”

The cost of the pilot program, yet to be approved, is estimated at about $130,000.

The bollards on the Strip, which are connected between the street and sidewalk, are designed to withstand the impact of a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 mph.

The first wave of the $9 million project saw 800 bollards installed along Las Vegas Boulevard between Tropicana Avenue and Spring Mountain Road. The second phase, which started Monday, will add 650 additional bollards. By the end of February, 3,800 bollards will be placed on the Strip. And in areas of new development, like Resorts World on the north end of the Strip, barrier rails will be installed.

The bus shelter bollards will include shallow footing to avoid underground utility conflicts and to minimize shrapnel injuries to pedestrians, in the case of a crash, officials said.

RTC officials have observed how the county has implemented its bollards program and will work with their consultant to develop their plan, said Tina Quigley, RTC general manager, said at the last county commission meeting.