Vegas Photo Essay
I did get out and about this week, and here are some photos and thoughts on Sin City's Transportation Network.
Vegas' famous "The Strip" is known for having thousands of places to spend money. Walking down the strip isn't just fun (and potentially expensive) its also safe. The sidewalks are wide, the crosswalks are well marked and often feature countdown signals, and in areas where the road is wide there are pedestrian bridges that are safe, well lighted, and have other attractions to entertain and draw people.
Not to say Vegas is some sort of pedestrian haven. Just off The Strip, the sidewalks are narrow and broken, the signals are mis-timed, the crosswalks are faded. Basically, except for strip, Vegas is a pedestrian disaster.
I don't really have a lot to say about the sign on the left, I just thought it was hilarious.
I found Vegas' famous monorail to be convenient yet somewhat annoying. The $5 fare makes it comparably priced to taking a cab if you have more than one person traveling and aren't traveling the entire length of the trip (which I was since we stayed at MGM and her conference was in The Riviera). Frequent "pro-monorail" announcements on the trip are actually advertisements for the attractions at various casinos. The most annoying was an ad for David Copperfield that bragged about his fast hands...an odd promo for a guy who just canceled seven weeks of shows because of accusations of sexual assault.
Also, my stop forced me into the casino at the Hilton and its cul-de-sac before allowing me street access. Probably added at least 5 minutes to my trip every time I headed to the convention center.
Lastly, it should be noted that ridership was sparse, and I was usually commuting at rush hour. My bell hop actually tried to talk us out of musing the monorail claiming the "mono" meant it ran "once a year." In truth, I never waited more than five minutes for a train, and outside of the price and the goofy announcements the trip was easy and enjoyable.
Don't ever let anyone tell you nobody in Vegas took transit. The buses were packed every time they rumbled past me while I was out for a stroll.
But taxi is still king for tourists in Sin City. That little black line at the end of the picture marks the beginning of the taxi line at the Hilton during rush hour. The guy in the gray suit marks the end.