Las Vegas improves park ratings

Las Vegas and the surrounding cities are in the upper half of the country’s parking systems, according to a nonprofit that focuses on parks.

Las Vegas ranks 24th, while Henderson ranks 32nd and North Las Vegas ranks 47th on The Trust for Public Land’s 6th annual ParkScore index. Las Vegas is connected to six cities: Fremont, California, Lincoln, Long Beach, Oakland, San Jose, and Virginia Beach, while Henderson is connected to Honolulu and Philadelphia.

Las Vegas’ rank improves from 31st place in 2016, while North Las Vegas declines 12 places from 35th place and Henderson drops 7 places to 32nd place.

The narrow-minded Minneapolis rival Saint Paul has received the highest award for the second year running. San Francisco climbed to third place ahead of Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia largely because of improved access to school playground basketball courts that are now open after hours and on weekends. Portland, Irvine, New York, Madison and Cincinnati rounded out the top 10.

Fresno is bottom of the ParkScore rankings, moving up from 97th last year to 90th with Hialeah and Jacksonville, Florida. Fresno’s rise largely resulted from the creation of “sharing” arrangements that open school playgrounds and sports fields to the public after school and on weekends. Fresno was the lowest ranked ParkScore city from 2012 to 2015.

ParkScores are based on three factors: Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately 1/2 mile); Park size, which is based on a city’s mean park size and the percentage of total city area for parks; and facilities and investments that combine parking spend per inhabitant with the availability of four popular parking facilities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation and senior centers.

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