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Seniors concerned new bus stop could put them in danger
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Some area seniors are worried that a new bus stop could put them in danger because they may have to walk through a busy parking lot.
For most of us, walking a few extra feet is no big deal. For Laura Drexler, 86, it's a safety issue. Drexler is legally blind. She's part of a group of seniors who rely on a special bus from the Regional Transportation Commission to run errands.
"It takes us to the market, the doctor, the library, shopping," Drexler explained.
But Drexler and other seniors may have to walk through the busy shopping plaza parking lot at Lake Mead Boulevard and Rampart Boulevard; in the last few weeks, a Metro Police volunteer told the bus driver he must park in the lot, not the fire lane outside of stores.
"If I don't see the car, and the car don't see me walking across the parking lot, not only myself, but other people might get hurt also," said Drexler.
The Smith's Grocery Store painted part of its curb yellow to allow buses to unload passengers. Store director Kevin Hollowinski said the grocer did not have city permission to make the change, and the city forced the store to repaint the curb red.
Feeling caught in the middle, Drexler turned to Action News.
The city's Fire Prevention Division has received several complaints from customers about drivers parking in the fire lane in front of Smith's, said city spokesman Jace Radke. The city allows vehicles to load and unload passengers, but they cannot park in the fire lanes per city code, Radke said. Violators face a $250 fine.
Hollowinski said the driver would help passengers depart the bus, but would sometimes leave the bus in the fire lane to enter the store.
The RTC first learned of the issue last week and plans to work with the grocer to find a place for the bus to unload, said spokeswoman Angela Torres.
"Even if the bus is parked there for a few minutes, no more than five minutes, there's still room for the fire truck to go by," Drexler said.
But in an emergency, the city said every minute counts.