Wheelchair users complain of obstacles on the Las Vegas Strip
Action News took a trip down the Las Vegas Strip to gain a different perspective.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Las Vegas Strip is full of sights and sounds; some say it's also full of cracked sidewalks and narrow paths.
Most people can simply sidestep the problems, except those in wheelchairs.
"The strip, in my opinion, for the handicapped is a mess," said John Noble, who visits the strip several times a week with his elderly mother.
Noble became fed up with the problems in August. A wheel on his mother's wheelchair broke after it became caught in a drainage grate on the north end of the strip.
Noble challenged county commissioner Chris Giunchigliani to see the problem from his perspective. The commissioner accepted the challenge; Noble wheeled Giunchigliani down the boulevard for nearly four hours in late September so the commissioner could see the problems for herself.
"The ramps don't line up, they're not wide enough, the sidewalks are bumpy, there's potholes. It's just chaos," said Noble.
While riding in the wheelchair on Friday, we counted 15 problems ranging from cracked sidewalks to nonfunctioning crosswalk buttons.
Action News turned to Giunchigliani to see what's been done to address the issues.
"I met with our public works director, our real property management. I made my list. I have his pictures. I have the pictures I took. We're just going along with what we can do quicker," said Giunchigliani in an interview on Friday.
The commissioner said the issues would be included as part of a pedestrian study released in November. New signage advising people how to report broken elevators at pedestrian crossings could be in place by the end of the year, Giunchigliani said.
The commissioner is also considering asking the county to replace all the sidewalks along the strip, a project that could take months to plan. It's unclear how much a replacement project could cost.
Noble said he was impressed that Guinchigliani agreed to ride along.
"I was thinking 'Wow, somebody in a political office actually cares,'" he said.
Now, Noble said it's time for the county to start rolling on improvements.