Southern Nevada Strong


Everyone should have been talking about it.  Southern Nevada Strong began years ao.  Thousands of people offered their input through surveys and community meetings.  As a result of the findings, City planners are re-writing zoning codes.  There are plans to bring in high density housing to the Henderson suburbs.  There will be a taxpayer funded light rail system connecting Downtown Henderson to Freemont Street, and another connecting Nevada State College in Mission Hills, to Green Valley Parkway and Warm Springs.     


We are led to believe that the City Planners are the best stewards to socially engineer our community.  One must dig very deep into the documents to actually learn how this will be implemented.  


In 2011, Henderson used grant money from HUD to create a regional coalition called Southern Nevada Strong.  This coalition has laid out a plan to integrate all aspects of human development into a comprehensive action plan for government.  I'm not against government or planning.  I'm against the basis of the ideas for Southern Nevada Strong.  It starts with the belief that the suburbs are bad for the environment.  People shouldn't drive so much.  We should live closer together, so people will want to walk more.  Government should take more control over development by encouraging more high density housing, because if people live close together, there will be a stronger sense of community.  When Henderson accepted the grant money, they understood that the results needed to follow this narrative.     

‚ÄčWe want to protect our environment and our kids.  We want to lead happy, healthy lives, and we want that for others as well.  That's why most of the Southern Nevada Strong plan sounds so good.  Southern Nevada Strong and Henderson Strong took lots of surveys, and gathered an incredible amount of data, and came up with a solution that fit the HUD narrative.   


Here's what the data revealed:  

- People like the suburbs, and left to our choice, Southern Nevadans will continue to buy homes in the suburbs.

- Most people in Henderson live within walking distance of a bus stop, yet people with cars still chose to drive rather than take the bus.

- People want to feel safe when they go for a walk or bike ride.


Here's the Southern Nevada Strong solution:

- Because suburbs are bad for the environment, Government needs to take control of the marketplace, and restrict suburban development.  

- Since low income people tend to live in apartments and ride the bus, increase HUD vouchers in Henderson.  Encourage more high density housing to be built.

- Redesign all the streets to promote a healthier lifestyle.


Here's the problem with the solutions:

- High density housing tends to bring in crime and increases traffic congestion.

- People don't dream of giving up their personal vehicles so they can take public transportation instead.  

- Simple road maintenance isn't being done unless the road has been redesigned for the new "Complete Street" standard with bike lanes and detached sidewalks.  Redesigning the roads has been very costly. 


The study concludes that people in Henderson will need light rail to combat the increased traffic congestion caused by the higher density housing.     


My thoughts

I like having room to spread out on a little piece of property that I own.  Henderson feels like a small town to me.  It's a haven from the busy Strip.  Highways and roads give us the freedom to go anywhere, anytime.  


I think rail is expensive, outdated technology.  100 years ago, we had railroads and horses.  Today, rail is hardly used.  Horsepower has enabled us all to live more prosperous lives, in a way never seen before in human history.  The light rail system in Henderson would be subsidized with gas tax dollars, stripping even more money away from aging roads.  Progressive policies are actually taking us back in time.     

 

Southern Nevada Strong introduces another layer of government control.  All citizens should question this plan, which gives more power and influence to the Regional Transportation Commission.  When government gets bigger, the individual gets smaller.