No help for wary travelers this week


All we want is for things to work like they’re supposed to, you know?

But it is an imperfect world. The dishwasher breaks. The politicians jockey for position instead of fixing things. And the traffic control devices we all have to make our way through?

They don’t always do what we’d like, and that’s the way the world is.

Two people had the same question this week, which is unusual. Richard and Marta both wondered why there are still traffic cones in the left-turn lane on Jones Boulevard heading north at Sahara Avenue.

Good question. I drove out there. The construction looks as if it’s done. Yet the inside turn lane is blocked off with cones. That didn’t seem to make sense.

I checked with Diana Paul, a city of Las Vegas spokeswoman. I was ready to make fun of someone.

Except she had a good explanation.

The work is almost done. She said the contractor has to repaint the lines to make that inside turn lane wider. It’s only 8 feet wide. Fine for a Smart Car, but not much else.

But they can’t repaint the lines until they lay some new asphalt. They can’t lay new asphalt until it’s warmer outside.

So. Blame the weather. It’ll get done soon.

Let’s try another one. Donna wondered about the entrance to Interstate 15 south when you’re going north on Martin Luther King Boulevard. That area’s a bit cluttered, and unless the whole thing is ripped up and redone, it’s going to stay that way.

Donna wrote: “When traveling north on Martin Luther King, there is a sign that shows the entrance to I-15 south, but there isn’t a designated left-turn lane. My husband and I were wondering why there isn’t a left-turn indicator painted on the road to show it is the correct place to turn?”

This seemed like a good idea. It could clarify things a little, so I asked Paul about it.

She said they can’t do that because the turn lane there is used by cars going in both directions. The northbound traffic goes onto I-15, while the southbound traffic can turn onto Mineral Avenue. That little street leads into the furniture store there, plus a few other places. There wouldd be no easy way to get in otherwise.

Sorry, Donna. Sometimes good ideas have to remain just that.

Strike two.

While you’re getting used to disappointment, let’s keep that theme going.

Jean Ann wrote in with another suggestion: “When is there going to be a stop light or red light at the intersection of Fort Apache and Warm Springs? It took me almost 15 minutes to get across one day. Traffic is horrible there. It doesn’t matter what time of day.”

She noted that Wet ’n’ Wild, the water park, is scheduled to open nearby this year. Things will only get worse.

So I checked with Dan Kulin, a spokesman for Clark County.

Kulin said the county did a traffic study at that very intersection last year, and it didn’t meet the criteria for a new stoplight.

I drove out there at noon last Friday. Traffic was heavy, though not crazy. I can imagine it gets really backed up during rush hour, though. Warm Springs dead ends at Fort Apache, and the cars trying to turn left seemed to be in for a wait.

There are similar problems in the developing northwest part of town, where I live. So I feel your pain, Jean Ann.

Kulin was quick to add, without committing to anything, that the county could maybe probably do another study this year at the intersection if and when things change there.

So, again, sorry I don’t have better news. Perhaps use Durango Drive for a while. It won’t be faster, but maybe it’ll be safer.

While I was out gawking at traffic lights and soaking up bad news, I did a little checking on an item from last week.

A reader complained that the left-turn light from northbound Jones Boulevard to westbound Oakey Boulevard didn’t last long enough to let more than a car or two through. Long lines built up. People started doing stupid things.

Paul, with the city, promised to get that fixed.

Guess what?

It was fixed when I checked it out the other day.

So cheer up. At least some things do work like they’re supposed to.

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