Being a pedestrian in a car oriented city

29 03 2014

You might remember my post of last year about Salt Lake City and how it was building light rail and putting in cycle share. I’d like to share with you an experience of another western American city, Las Vegas. This is the details of a couple of walks I did through Las Vegas’s suburbs. This post is dedicated to every politician that thinks cities are primarily for cars, and not primarily for people. This post shows what happens when a city is only built for cars as the newer parts of Las Vegas are.

First up to get from where I was staying I had to walk across a giant car park. This was designed especially to hold many cars, and as you can see it was a thriving business:

Lovely Las Vegas (1)

Next I got to walk across a lovely field. On my return walking back a 4WD decided to go off road at high speed across the lovely field to save himself some time at some traffic lights:

Lovely Las Vegas (2)
Then it was ok I wasn’t going to hassled by the homeless people, they were asleep behind the sign:

Lovely Las Vegas (3)

Then I got to cross the road, and yep it’s homeless person number 2 up with her shopping trolley by the electricity pole:

Lovely Las Vegas (4)
And I got to cross the side road, which was built extra, extra wide, just in case someone might want to use it someday:

Lovely Las Vegas (5)
You think building the roads extra wide they’d be safer, but you’d be wrong. Here is where someone couldn’t quite work out how to go around a corner from a 4 lanes in each direction road to a 2 lanes in each direction road:

Lovely Las Vegas (6)
What’s that, 4 lanes in each direction, do I mean an 8 lane road? Yes I do, and all I wanted to do was cross it, so I thought I’d walk up to the next set of traffic lights:

Lovely Las Vegas (7)
But I couldn’t cross it, because well pedestrians are subhuman:

Lovely Las Vegas (8)
Well what about across the minor road, could I cross the 8 lane road then? Of course not:

Lovely Las Vegas (9)

And this is the experience of crossing that lovely road without any signalised crossing. If only they built more lanes:

Lovely Las Vegas (10)

And why do they need to build roads so wide and have the cars go so fast (signposted 55 mph, and most often going faster)? Because they all have ridiculously huge vehicles:
Lovely Las Vegas (11)

And where was I, I was in a giant carpark:

Lovely Las Vegas (12)
The photo only shows a little bit of it, so just how big is the carpark? It’s huge and always near empty.
And on my way back, some more homeless people. If it wasn’t for them I’d be the only pedestrian:

Lovely Las Vegas (13)
And then another walk following the giant road the other way:

Lovely Las Vegas (14)

I’d thought I’d check out how lovely motorway overpasses are since Wellington looks like getting one, and they are particularly lovely:

Lovely Las Vegas (15)

Or how about this view?

Lovely Las Vegas (16)

I jaywalked across the giant road, and across a lovely untouched part of the Mojave Desert and then just in case you thought I was being unfair to Las Vegas and I wasn’t showing it at its best here is a photo of the Las Vegas Strip, on the horizon beyond the garbage bag trees:
Lovely Las Vegas (17)

And if you think that was unfair well here is the world famous Las Vegas Boulevard:

Lovely Las Vegas (18)
And a lovely water feature in the desert:

Lovely Las Vegas (20)
It is hard not to conclude that Las Vegas, like anywhere where cars are catered for and actual human beings with legs are not, is a bit, well:

Lovely Las Vegas (19)





5 responses

29 03 2014

Hi and thanks for that information

I’d heard that Salt Lake City is planning a good tram system – have you seen and evidence of that?

All the best Alana


29 03 2014

Yes, quiet convincing evidence. Indeed I saw Trams running on their streets.

29 03 2014

Sadly this is what most of the development throughout the S/W US looks like.

29 03 2014

Astonishing – how too much space can be a very bad thing. Great photos.

29 03 2014
Paul Bruce cyclechallenge

Well, that is really, really awful!

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