Four Valley Neighborhoods Designated as Opportunity Sites - 8 News NOW

Four Valley Neighborhoods Designated as Opportunity Sites

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LAS VEGAS -- A regional planning group has zeroed in on four areas in the Las Vegas valley it says would benefit from investment that would ultimately lead to a better connection between people and their community and their jobs.

It is an effort to help people move more freely. Southern Nevada Strong is looking at many options like widening sidewalks, adding bike paths, even installing a light rail.

They are building a plan around where the changes would do the most good.

Getting around in Las Vegas without a car can be a challenge.

"I have to leave here about 9:30, (the bus) drops me off on Boulder Highway, I have to walk two and a half blocks and then I have an hour to spare because I start at 11," Paul Ramirez, who lives off Maryland, said.

The bus doesn't always run on the rider's schedule.

"If you miss a bus it's long and it's tedious," bus rider Kevin Stewart said.

Leaders of Southern Nevada Strong say connecting people to where they need to be is good for the economy.

The group has decided four areas, called opportunity sites, are ripe for reinvestment.

The areas are: Maryland Parkway, downtown-North Las Vegas, the Las Vegas medical district, and Boulder Highway.

Southern Nevada Strong is trying to finalize its plan by 2015. In March, 11 kiosks will be rolled out around the Las Vegas valley to gauge public opinion.

About 200 Business and community leaders came to a summit, where the opportunity sites were announced.

Denver, Colorado recently invested nearly $5 billion in a transit system that will stretch more than 100 miles.

"In the first few months of one line, our West Line, we have seen a $3 million impact already," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.

Hancock was at Wednesday's summit and says better transportation is about money.

"For every $1 invested in transit systems, $4 is returned to the community," he said.

Southern Nevada Strong is looking at all kinds of ways to keep people moving, including additional bus routes, more bike paths, and maybe even a light rail.

There are definitely a few people tired of riding the bus.

"There are so many stops in between. It would eliminate the hassle of stopping every 30 seconds at every corner," Stewart said.

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