Drivers see red over getting stuck at intersections

This week, let’s talk about frustration.

No, not frustration. Righteous indignation.

This is the feeling you get when you pull up to a red light and wait. And wait. And wait. No other cars are coming, maybe, or the light turns green and lets three people through, or you’re stuck at a red light and all you want to do is turn right, dang it.

Gah! You flail and you pound the steering wheel and you realize that you are nobody. You have no power in this situation. You are stuck and you are at the mercy of the traffic light gods.

This is depressing. Mostly because you are right.

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Sam wrote in with a question about a fast-developing area out in Henderson:

“Can you find out why there is no dedicated right turn lane at the southwest corner of Via Inspirada and Volunteer Boulevard? The other corners have the lanes, but eastbound Volunteer to southbound Via Inspirada doesn’t.

That just seems weird.

So I checked with Kathleen Richards, a city spokeswoman.

Good news, Sam. The city just acquired land at that corner and plans to add the turn lane you wanted.

Richards said the City Council will vote on the proposal June 18. If it’s OK’d, the new lane should be there by the end of the summer.

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Janet wrote in a couple of weeks ago with a similar problem:

“I don’t know who I should talk to about this,” she wrote, “so you’re elected.”

She said the light to exit the Santa Fe Station casino and turn left onto Rancho Road was ridiculous. It let maybe two or three cars through.

This happens at all times of the day, she said.

Then, Joan wrote in a few days later with the same problem. But it was worse! The light let only one car through at a time, she said.

That right there is frustrating, so I checked with Diana Paul, a city of Las Vegas spokeswoman.

Workers took several trips out that way to check things out. Yup, it needed fixing.

“We were able to finally review and adjust all of the separate timing plans we have running in the controller at this traffic signal to meet the traffic demands,” she wrote in an email.

She said the maximum green time was increased for left turns, and the city coordinated with the Regional Transportation Commission’s traffic timing department to fix some other issues.

“We believe these efforts should resolve any further concerns from the motorists who travel this area,” she wrote. “If not, please let us know.

You heard her. If this doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll pass the word along.

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While needlessly sitting at a red light is frustrating, I imagine it doesn’t come close to the frustration a handicapped driver feels when the designated spaces are all filled.

Sheila wrote in saying that she drives a sedan with a handicapped license plate, so she uses the handicapped spots. A wheelchair-using friend of hers who drives a van told her that the spaces marked “van accessible” weren’t for her sedan, though. The friend said Sheila could get a ticket.

“Who is right?” Sheila asked. “And if it is my friend, why aren’t the signs more specific?”

I looked at the statute, and man, they have to hire a writer up there at the Legislature. Every time I read some law or another, I marvel at the butchering of the language.

I gave up on that and checked in with Kevin Malone, a spokesman for the Department of Motor Vehicles, and I asked Paul from the city of Las Vegas to hook me up with someone from parking enforcement.

Turns out, your friend was wrong, Sheila. You can park your sedan in those “van accessible” spots all you want.

Both Malone and Brandy Stanley, the parking services manager with the city, said there are some special van spots reserved for side-lift vehicles only. They’ll be clearly marked, though, and you’ll only find them in parking lots with 60 or more spaces.

Stanley even sent me a picture of one of those signs. It says: “Space for the exclusive use of a vehicle with a side loading wheelchair lift.”

That’s about as clear as you can get, I think.

I hope that takes care of your frustration, Sheila. Until the next time.

Got a transportation question, comment or gripe? Ship it off to Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter @RJroadwarrior.