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Henderson:

New senior center doesn’t come with bus stop

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Updated Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 | 10:30 p.m.

Heritage Park Senior Center

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Map of the current RTC route 217 in downtown Henderson.

While the new Heritage Park Senior Center opening this July promises to be full of amenities, it could be lacking one crucial one: an RTC bus stop. So officials involved with the center are trying to get Route 217 extended along Burkholder Boulevard behind Basic High School.

“I’ve had patrons at the senior center asking me, ‘How are we going to get there?’” Henderson Seniors’ Auxiliary President Joan McCracken said. “Right now with the current scenarios, there’s no way with public transportation to get to the new senior center or the aquatic center.”

Route 217 currently follows Water Street, Lake Mead Parkway and a portion of Boulder Highway.

However, it fails to extend past Palo Verde Drive on Burkholder Boulevard, falling short of the new Senior Center at Burkholder and Racetrack Drive by just under a mile.

It also does not serve a senior housing development at Boulder Highway and Equestrian Drive. The route ends at Boulder Highway and Horizon Drive, one-third of a mile short.

“If they could add to the route, it would increase ridership,” McCracken said.

RTC spokeswoman Allison Huntley said expansion of Route 217 looks like a viable possibility in July 2010, but a special Silver Star Route could be implemented by the time the center opens. A Silver Star Route is one geared toward seniors, which stops at grocery stores and community centers. One already operates in downtown Henderson, Huntley said.

“It provides an opportunity for seniors to get out and about,” she said.

The entire route system is reviewed every six months, and Huntley encouraged community feedback.

“Our goal is to serve the community and make sure we’re providing the best service we can,” she said.

Compounding the route issue are the estimated 300 seniors who live within walking distance of the existing center. Henderson Senior Services Supervisor Sue Bobby said the center will initially provide shuttle service between downtown and Heritage Park, and called the proposed route extensions very doable.

However, the Senior Center shuttles will not be available for evening and weekend activities, McCracken said, because of finances.

The Henderson Senior Citizens Advisory Commission signaled their support for the route extensions at their Feb. 18 meeting.

Dave Clark can be reached at 990-2677 or [email protected].

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