Bike lanes open in Las Vegas
Less than two weeks after the bike industry descended on Las Vegas for Interbike 2009, we headed back—this time under very different circumstances. Bikes Belong was celebrating International Walk (and Bike) to School Day with the students and faculty at Matt Kelly Elementary School, in Las Vegas’s Ward 5.
Bikes Belong, in partnership with Interbike, contributed $10,000—the first of a $50,000 commitment to bicycling in Las Vegas—to the Ward 5 community’s efforts to stripe bike lanes near three local elementary schools, including Matt Kelly, increasing safety and connectivity within a neighborhood where walking and biking are primary means of transportation. We got to see the brand new lanes we funded first hand and speak to the students about why riding their bikes to school helps make their community—and the world—a happier and healthier place.
The school’s principal, Patricia Harris (one of those remarkable school administrators who knows all of her students by name) led an assembly, explaining the history and importance of the day and congratulating the students for walking and bicycling to school. Ward 5’s Councilman Ricki Barlow, Jacob Snow, who manages the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission, and members of their staff were there to mark the occasion.
After brief remarks, and “big check” presentations from Bikes Belong/Interbike and the RTC, which matched our grant with $10,000 of its own, we awarded bicycles and helmets to two boys and two girls from Matt Kelly. The smiles on those four children’s faces as they came up to receive their bikes were brighter than the newly painted lanes. The children, led by Councilman Barlow on his bike, rolled up and down the new lanes with delight, flashing big grins at the local TV crews that showed up to film the festivities.