Gambling capital. Entertainment mecca. Bike-friendly city?
How bike friendly is Las Vegas?
Last week the League of American Bicyclists awarded both Henderson and Las Vegas bronze-level honors for their efforts to increase cycling and safety awareness. This despite bicycle deaths increasing in Clark County in 2013—of the seven deaths statewide, five happened here, three more than in 2012.
So, whether or not the honor is deserved depends on whom you ask.
“You can see how much the city’s been trying,” says Zabi Naqshband, 30, service manager at McGhie’s Ski, Bike and Board and a Las Vegas native who’s been cycling the Valley since he was a kid. Naqshband points to the hundreds of miles of bike lanes and off-road trails in and around Las Vegas, in addition to the increasing number of bike racks Downtown. “Las Vegas is almost a hot spot for bicycle planning,” he says.
However, Gabriel Allred, 32, a UNLV graduate student who’s been cycling here for the last 10 years, sees dangers that need to be addressed. “We’re starting the infrastructure that allows for bike safety, but there’s still a lot of places that are lacking. Near the university I think it’s just kind of a complete mess, and if you want to cross the Strip, that’s damn-near impossible to do in a safe way.”
Where Allred and Naqshband agree is in the need for more driver education. “A lot of drivers will drive in bike lanes and not pay attention—that mentality that they can go wherever they want,” Naqshband says.