The Regional Transportation Commission/City of Las Vegas Complete Streets initiative continues to reshape Downtown. Some of the changes are pretty major: Bonneville and Clark were made into one-way streets, green bike lanes are being added to many of Downtown’s backstreets, and a four-way traffic signal is being installed at Las Vegas Boulevard and Garces. (I’m guessing this last change was precipitated by the sudden and unexpected international fame of a certain pawn shop operating on that corner.) And some of the changes are cosmetic: wider sidewalks, new trees and greenery, and the … mild course correction pictured above, located at Sixth and Garces.
It’s easy enough to see why RTC/CLV crews included this kink in the new sidewalk; plainly, the roots of the tall pine tree lifted the old sidewalk, precipitating this felicitous solution. But it’s more than that, someone. This kinky sidewalk represents how our civic attitudes have changed. Think about it: Ten years ago, would we have given a shit about this tree? Would we have cared about the shade it provides, or the character it imparts to the neighborhood? Hell no; we would have ripped it out and replaced it with an expletive palm.
We’ve made an important step today, one that’s just ever so slightly off to the side of where we were. I’ll take it.
PHOTO BY GEOFF CARTER