A highly anticipated study of pedestrian traffic on the Las Vegas Strip shows that 17 sections of sidewalk and pedestrian bridges exceed an acceptable level of service based upon 2010 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) recommendations. The HCM is a publication of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
Data gathered and analyzed identified 17 sections that exceeded capacity and did so Fridays through Sundays, generally between 3 p.m. and midnight.
The study, conducted for the County by the Las Vegas firm of Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., (KHA) involved observing more than 4.8 million pedestrians at 38 locations along both sides of the four-mile stretch of the Las Vegas Strip. Researchers collected 2,770 hours of pedestrian data that is the equivalent of 3 ¾ months worth of observation of pedestrian activity.
The highest pedestrian traffic was observed on the sidewalk at the south end of the Bellagio hotel-casino at 9:30 p.m. on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, when 2,633 pedestrians were counted passing by during a 15-minute period. This location was categorized as having an unacceptable “level of service.”
Other areas where KHA documented unacceptable levels of congestion include sidewalks in front of the Harley-Davidson café, the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino, Caesars Palace and the Coliseum, Bally’s, Treasure Island, the Forum Shops, the Casino Royale, Harrah’s, the Venetian and a group of stores north of the MGM and south of Harmon Boulevard. Other areas deemed as too crowded include the pedestrian bridges at Tropicana Avenue linking Excalibur and New York-New York, at Flamingo Road linking the Bellagio and Caesars Palace and over Harmon Boulevard on the west side of the Strip.
"The data collected in the study shows we have real congestion issues that need to be addressed,” said County Manager Don Burnette.
The Kimley-Horn pedestrian study is the first major comprehensive County-conducted study on the Las Vegas Strip in more than a decade, a time during which the Strip saw substantial growth in construction and pedestrian traffic. The pedestrian study is an important component of the work stemming from a Resort Corridor Workgroup that was assembled in August 2011 by Burnette at the direction of the County Commission to examine ways to enhance the visitor experience on the Las Vegas Strip. The workgroup, which consisted primarily of representatives of the resorts on the Strip, released a report in March with 32 recommendations. The recommendations dealt with everything from pedestrian safety and commercial activities to newsracks, litter, cleanliness, graffiti, unauthorized advertising and public safety issues. Commissioners already have approved ordinances for the Las Vegas Strip concerning littering by handbillers and others, commercial activity, dangerous activities and a curfew for animals.