Potholes, red lights, alarm clocks among life's trials


We all have to get from here to there. We would like to do it quickly so we can get back to our TV shows and our tweets, our kids and our lawns.

But the world doesn’t always cooperate.

The roads don’t have enough lanes. They’re potholed. They’re crowded. The speed limit is too low, and the lights never stay green long enough.

This is our reality, and I’m here to tell you it’s not going to change. Not anytime soon, anyway.

So maybe leave five minutes earlier, if you can. Snooze that alarm once instead of twice. Let that jerk who has been riding your butt go around you. Don’t let him ruin your day.

Because it’s hard enough out there without being in a hurry when you don’t have to be.

Dave sent this in: “I have a question about when the road surface will be repaired on the ramp from eastbound Windmill to eastbound 215. The surface has fairly deep potholes, and vehicles could easily lose control in the turn if they’re approaching at too high a speed.

“I use this ramp every day to get to work and it shakes my fillings.”

That’s not an area I drive a lot, so I went out there on Tuesday. There are potholes. They did rattle the car a little.

But I have to be honest here, I didn’t approach the onramp at a very high speed. Maybe 25 mph. It’s a nearly 90-degree turn there.

So maybe slow down a little because you’re going to have to live with those potholes for a while longer.

Dan Kulin, a spokesman for Clark County, said the county has plans to repave that onramp and others along the southern portion of the 215 but probably not until the revamp of the connector tunnels to the airport is about done.

The repaving probably won’t start until early next year, he said.

Jonathan sent in another question about the southern part of town: “Are there any plans to widen Warm Springs from the I-15 all the way to Durango?”

Kulin said widening Warm Springs is not on the county’s list of upcoming projects.

While some parts of Warm Springs are busy — the intersection with Durango, for example — it’s not a major thoroughfare yet. So two lanes it is.

Bill sent in a question about how fast he’s allowed to drive in his RV while towing a car: When the speed limit is 70 mph, but there are signs saying that autos towing trailers can’t go more than 55 mph, does an RV count as an “auto”? And what about big rigs?

Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Loy Hixson said that “auto” means any self-propelled vehicle.

Those signs apply to you in your RV when you’re towing anything, or a motorcycle towing a little trailer, or a big rig towing three trailers, Hixson said.

David is frustrated, as well he should be. He said he travels through the intersection of St. Rose Parkway and Eastern Avenue in Henderson all the time, and he has noticed an annoying change:

“In the past, the timing for the left turn light would allow about seven or eight cars from both lanes onto Eastern and traffic moved easily through that intersection. For some reason, they have changed the timing of the left turn signal, and now, provided you do not have any slow starters, at the most three cars from each left turn lane can get through before the yellow comes on.”

He said traffic can get backed up for half a mile. People run the red light sometimes.

I went out there to look for myself. It was around 4 p.m. on Monday. Traffic was heavy but not overwhelming. I was the ninth (and last) car in line in the left of the two turn lanes. There were also nine cars in the other left turn lane.

We all made it through, though the light did turn yellow right when I started through it and was red before I got all the way across.

It’s a really big intersection.

And that’s the problem. Can you imagine trying to walk across all 10 lanes?

Kathleen Richards, a Henderson spokeswoman, said the federal government recently changed its standards on how fast pedestrians are expected to walk.

It used to be crosswalks were timed assuming people walk about 4 feet per second. But now it’s 3 feet per second. If you’re walking 100 feet, that adds about eight seconds.

So the city had a choice: They could make the whole cycle at that intersection take longer, or they could shave a bit of time off the left turn lights. They chose the latter option.

But Richards said they are working with the Regional Transportation Commission’s traffic signal timing department to reevaluate the timing of that intersection now.

For the time being, I would leave the house five minutes earlier if I were you.

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