Thursday, February 27, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Clark County Commissioners approved a $14.7 million trail connecting Summerlin and the Red Rock Visitor Center.
Local nonprofit Save Red Rock has been pushing for this trail for more than a decade.
"We've been battling safety issues at Red Rock for a long time," said Save Red Rock President Heather Fisher.
Fisher is an experienced bicyclist. She said she feels safe riding on State Road 159, where Charleston Boulevard goes out into the desert, but she would never let her children ride with her.
Fisher helped start the nonprofit in 2005 after her friend Don Albietz was hit and killed riding his bike on S.R. 159. He was a Metro police officer, an avid biker and a father.
"It was really sad because he had two little kids and his two little kids are now successful college students and that's how long it's been taking to get something done," said Fisher.
Fisher said after Albietz was killed, Save Red Rock received a $2 million grant for an environmental analysis study. She said they handed the results over to the Bureau of Land Management but nothing happened for ten years.
Clark County Commissioners approved funding and construction for the trail last Tuesday.
About 75% of the money is coming from a Federal Lands Access Program. Nevada Department of Transportation and Clark County are putting up the rest.
"It is a huge concern from the people who live here, to the people who visit, here to the people who love Red Rock because there are so many cars out here," said Fisher.
Cars are constantly backed up at the Scenic Loop and spill onto the road.
Crews will also add a Park-and-Ride near the trailhead so bikers, hikers and runners won't have to drive to Red Rock at all.
"It will also give families and kids a safe place to exercise. Like, we promote exercise and safety but do we give them a safe place to ride their bikes? That's what we need to do," said Fisher.
County Commissioners only approved 5.5 miles. Fisher said the ultimate goal is to have the trail wrap around Red Rock Canyon.
Construction will start later this year and it will be named "The Legacy Trail" in honor of Albietz.