We are pushing the boulder up the mountain, day by day, always hoping for progress, to reach the top.
But there is no top. The mountain never ends.
This is where we’re at with our roads. They are adequate. We want them to be better. They’ll never be good enough.
We push that boulder up, get a new road, inch the boulder a few inches further, see another road repaved, and then we slip. The boulder rolls backward, potholes appear, cracks erode, and we do it all over again.
Andy, for example, sounded both hopeful and suspicious in his email.
“Now that Sunset Road is open from Las Vegas Boulevard to Decatur Boulevard, when, if ever, will it continue on to Fort Apache Road?”
Never, Andy. Sunset Road will forever run from the extreme western end of the valley to the extreme eastern end of the valley except for a tiny portion between Jones and Decatur boulevards that will remain a dirt road suited only to what the cops call off-highway vehicles.
Kidding! I’m totally kidding. That kind of thing could never happen here. It’s not like we’re talking about the northwestern leg of the 215 Beltway or anything.
Clark County does have plans for a fancy new, totally paved Sunset Road between Decatur and Jones. But there’s no money right now.
So hold steady, for now. They’ll get there when they can.
Muriel doesn’t seem too happy with the way things are over at the intersection of U.S. Highway 95, Summerlin Parkway and Rainbow Boulevard.
She apparently doesn’t have email. Because she grabbed one of my recent columns, took it out of the paper, and scrawled her question in red marker across the text in huge letters. I believe I detected a note of frustration.
“Still can’t, after many calls, go WEST on Summerlin Parkway from Rainbow??” she wrote. “What gives???”
I get it, Muriel. Such a ramp would benefit some people, including me. If I’m going from my parents’ house to my house, I have to either go up Westcliff Drive to get on Summerlin Parkway at Buffalo Drive, or take U.S. 95, which I cannot stand.
But here’s the thing: Have you looked around where those two freeways and Rainbow all run into one another? It’s kind of crowded. There are ramps all over the place. Freeway entrances, lights, twists and turns.
As much as an entrance onto Summerlin Parkway would be nice, I think it might also make the place messier. More confusing.
In any event, I checked with the city of Las Vegas on this. The city’s traffic engineer isn’t aware of any plans at all to add a ramp, nor is the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Such a project, if it were to happen, would be enormously expensive and wouldn’t bring that much benefit. There’s not much demand for it.
So you can stop calling whoever you’re calling, Muriel. It’s not going to work.
Why, Charles asked, is traffic in the right lane on Washington Avenue as it goes over the U.S. 95 bridge forced to turn right? This happens in both directions. Sometimes, people ignore the rules and go straight anyway. It’s very annoying.
Jennifer Davies with the city of Las Vegas explained that eastbound traffic wanting to turn right onto Rainbow is really heavy, especially during morning rush hour. The freeway entrance is that way. A right turn lane makes sense.
Westbound traffic has to turn right onto Rock Springs Drive because there are houses on Washington right there. People park in front of them. A second through lane would be a tight squeeze.
Besides, traffic volumes are really low there, she said, so a second lane isn’t needed.
Audrey wants to know what’s going on down by Desert Rose Golf Course.
“Can you tell me what they are doing on Stephanie Street between Sahara and Vegas Valley,” she wrote. “They have been working there for a couple of weeks but no sign of what is happening. Are they finally going to make the street go through all the way?”
That would be a huge surge upward for the boulder, wouldn’t it? But this is just routine stuff here. Not progress so much as maintenance.
That’s not Stephanie Street, by the way. I think you’re talking about Sloan Lane, which dead ends south of Sahara when it runs into the Las Vegas Wash.
In any case, Dan Kulin with Clark County said NV Energy is doing some work out there, and the county is installing this stuff called rip-rap.
Rip-rap is actually a bunch of rocks that will line the wash to keep erosion to a minimum.
They’re making sure the boulder doesn’t roll back down the mountain.
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