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County commissioner says keeping private cars off Las Vegas Strip could improve safety

Posted at 10:45 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 16:50:23-05

Try to imagine a Las Vegas where you can't just hop in your car and cruise down the Las Vegas Strip. One county commissioner said keeping private vehicles off of the strip could make the city safer during emergencies. 

"What worked maybe 10 years ago isn't necessarily good now," said Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani. 

On any given day, the 4.2 miles of Las Vegas Boulevard that make up the famed Strip can be crowded, congested, and at times chaotic as locals just want to get to their destination and tourists want to take it all in. 

"It's beautiful. I like it," said Johnny Malavi who was visiting from New York. "That's the whole purpose of the experience, just to drive around and see the scenery."

But on one tragic October day, Giunchigliani said there were just too many vehicles in the way. 

"Part of what happened is I heard from individuals that it was so crowded, that it was difficult for our emergency vehicles to get up and down." she said.

One idea, that has been proposed in the past, is to bar private vehicles from the area from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere. Only Ubers, taxi cabs, buses, and pedestrians would be allowed. 

 "Who wants to, if you're a local, to Uber and pay those prices when you could easily take your own car?" asked Amber Runyan 

Interstate 15 and Las Vegas Boulevard were shut down immediately after the One October shooting to help emergency vehicles get through faster. Giunchigliani said while the city looks at what worked that night and what didn't; its an opportunity to look at additional safety measures. The Strip has already seen changes meant to improve security by widening the sidewalks to the addition of bollards. 

"We're smart. We're Vegas," said Giunchigliani. "We can get anything done the way we want to."

Giunchigliani said she hopes if nothing else, this will spark more conversation about better ways to get around town, especially during emergency situations