The process of adding the Boulder City name to a segment of U.S. Highway 93 will take a bit longer as the City Council debated possible names during Tuesday night’s meeting.
As council members deliberated a way to attract more people to town by adding a local name to signs posted for U.S. 93, the prospect of entertaining the name “Hoover Dam” instead of “Boulder City” was raised by council members Rod Woodbury and Peggy Leavitt.
Woodbury said he would be fine with the name Hoover Dam National Parkway, despite Mayor Roger Tobler and Councilman Cam Walker preferring Boulder City as part of the name.
“If you want to increase the most traffic through there, that’s maybe the one that would pull people off and head them through our city,” Woodbury said.
City Manager Dave Fraser said he was disappointed that the Boulder City name wasn’t prominently displayed on the Nevada Transportation Department’s signs for drivers to see coming into town from Las Vegas.
“We just didn’t think that to the unfamiliar traveler, or even the somewhat familiar traveler, that Business 93 was really meaningful if they were intending on going to Boulder City,” he said.
Chamber of Commerce CEO Jill Rowland-Lagan received feedback from business owners along the busy road. She found out that U.S. 93 Business Route was known by several names, including Great Basin Highway, Nevada Highway and State Route 500.
She also discovered that some business owners told their patrons they were on Nevada Way, which is incorrect since Nevada Way only stretches from Buchanan Boulevard to where the road reconnects with U.S. 93.
“It would be nice to have some kind of cohesive message,” she said.
Walker was adamant about the context of the new name, and noted that a simple word could affect the city’s incoming traffic.
“I think there’s little nuances to this that can make a big difference, like ‘parkway’ instead of ‘boulevard,’ ” he said. “A parkway gives you the impression you’re going to move, a boulevard gives you the impression you’re in the street. Those little things are going to make a difference to the traveling public.”
Walker equated his example to the Katella Avenue exit that takes drivers in Southern California off the freeway to Disneyland.
“When you go to Disneyland and you don’t know that Katella (Avenue) is (the exit for) Disneyland, you don’t know you’re at Disneyland,” he said. “But when you have all of the Disneyland Parkway signs, you know you’re at Disneyland.”
Tobler was also in favor of Boulder City in the name of the roadway.
“I think the important thing is they can recognize that this is the route to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, and they’re going to be going through Boulder City,” he said.
Fraser said the new name would be featured on six signs for people traveling to Boulder City from Las Vegas, as well as two for drivers coming from Arizona.
The name change would affect only the local designation of the road, which would retain its official U.S. Highway 93 Business Route name with the Transportation Department, officials said.
Although the department hasn’t given the city a deadline for the name change, Fraser said it preferred that the city decide on a name as soon as possible.
“I think that at the end of the day, whatever we brand it, people are going to get used to it eventually,” Woodbury said. “There’s just got to be a reason behind what we do and a method to our madness.”
Contact reporter Steven Slivka at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.