Maryland Parkway, an area of Las Vegas considered as the regional spine for employment and transit, is being targeted for revitalization.

Planners want to make the road that fronts UNLV while running through some economically challenged neighborhoods, a place of commerce and connectivity.

Maryland Parkway is a vital stretch of road that connects downtown, UNLV and McCarran International Airport, with hundreds of small businesses.  Many of those businesses are still caught in the grips of the recession, but government leaders have been trying to figure out how to bring it back to life.
So where should the revitalization start?

A neglected shopping center directly across from UNLV would be a good place to start.  Wissam Alsabah opened his Kabob shop in that area two months ago.

He says business isn’t exactly booming.

“It’s not as safe as it used to be,” said Alsabah.

Wissam says Maryland Parkway has seen better days.

“You know I graduated in 2008 from UNLV, Alsabah said, and this street used to be really good back in the day.  But for the last 10 years — seven years, well, I don’t know what happened.  Something has changed.”

Alsabah said he would like to see smoother pavement on the boulevard along with pedestrian bridges, and better lighting in the area.

“After 5 o’clock it becomes so dark in here, it’s dead and scary,” Alsabah said.

Barber shop manager “Slow Mean” agrees.   He says students shouldn’t feel intimidated crossing the street.

“With the traffic and the congestion, a lot of the times they don’t feel like making that trip there,” he said.

Last week, local officials met with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox.  They’re hoping for millions of dollars in federal aide to speed up the revitalization of the parkway.

The Urban Land Panel Institute will meet with officials from several different agencies on Wednesday to talk about how they can revitalize the Parkway.  The public is invited to the group’s roundtable discussion which starts at 8 a.m. at the Nevada System of Higher Education building on located on Maryland Parkway.