This reality that we all share? It is deceptive.
The concrete facts are all the same. The traffic light is either red or green or yellow-ish. There is no interpretation there.
Except not everything is red or green or yellow-ish. Sometimes, the facts are squishy. Sometimes, we have to figure out what is dangerous or what is too fast or what is a reasonable time to wait at a stoplight that will never change before we run it and hope the cops don’t catch us.
Like Tony, who wrote in and asked if I would be “interested in helping prevent an accident.”
Sure I would, Tony. What’s the story?
He said there’s a large hole on the side of Carnegie Street just north of Horizon Ridge Parkway, near the 7-Eleven. It’s so big, he said, it “causes the two-lane road to become a one-and-a-half-lane road without warning.”
Folks who use that stretch of road in Henderson are used to it, he said. But newcomers face danger. “It’s only a matter of time before someone hits the other car, and all it would require is a few minutes of the city’s time to fill in that hole,” he wrote.
This sounded dangerous, so I checked in with Kathleen Richards, a Henderson spokeswoman. She said Carnegie narrows from two lanes to one because of the configuration of an undeveloped lot just past the convenience store. A new senior living project was just approved for that spot, so part of the building project will include reconstructing Carnegie. The problem will soon be paved over.
More immediate, though, she said the city’s streets division looked into Tony’s warning. They found that the street is wearing away on the edge, which is unfinished. They’re fixing it temporarily until the repaving is finished.
And she added this, which I love, because it shows how we all see things a little differently: “Please note that we investigated the safety of this area and found no crashes in the narrowed area in the past seven years.”
David wrote in with one of those complaints that make us all cringe just a little because we’ve been there, done that.
“The signal at Lone Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard takes a long time to change at night if you are on Lone Mountain,” he wrote. He thinks the walk signal coming on when there are no people around is the cause of the problem.
This is a problem for the Regional Transportation Commission, which has a division in charge of signal timing throughout the valley.
Brian Hoeft, that division’s director, said they looked into it and found that yup, some adjustments could be made. “During nonpeak travel times, the signal will be set to accommodate through traffic from both Decatur and Lone Mountain, while left turns from both streets during off-peak times will be handled by detection only,” he wrote in an email. “This means that cars coming from both streets will have minimal delay when traffic is light, and the left turn signal in all four directions will only be activated when a car is present.”
In any case, it should be fixed by the time this column is printed.
Let me know if it’s not.
Bill found one of those streets where the speed limit seems to drop for no good reason, and he wanted an explanation, dangit.
“I was wondering why the speed limit (on Horizon Ridge Parkway) between Valle Verde Drive and Green Valley Pkwy is 35 mph while the rest of it is 45 (mph),” he wrote. He said if you really do slow down, you risk getting run over. Forty-five, he said, seems totally safe.
I checked in with Richards, the Henderson spokeswoman, on this one too.
It turns out, there’s a perfectly good reason: Golf carts.
A few years back, Richards said, the City Council OK’d the speed limit change when the MacDonald Ranch development was approved. State law allows golf carts on the roads, no matter the speed limit, so long as the local jurisdiction has said they’re OK.
But city leaders thought 35 was safer than 45 in this case.
Got a transportation question, comment or gripe? Ship it off to email@example.com. Or tweet to @RJroadwarrior.