THE ROAD WARRIOR: Traffic light installation takes more time than expected


Things don’t always work out according to plan. You know this. I know this. We’re going to get a little proof this week.

Evan wrote in noting that there was supposed to be a traffic light installed by now at the intersection of Decatur Boulevard and Elkhorn Road, way out north.

This very column said so back in October.

Because that intersection is on the border between the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, the two entities said they would work together to get things going. North Las Vegas was supposed to take the lead. Work on the installation was supposed to get started early this year.

But it looks like nothing has happened.

I asked Juliet Casey, a North Las Vegas spokeswoman, when things would get moving.

She said the design is all done, some preliminary work has begun and the whole thing should wrap up in about four weeks.

William wrote in noting that the Road Work Ahead listings with this column don’t contain all the road work going on around town.

It can’t, of course. We’d run out of room. But I do try to put the bigger projects on there. I missed at least one, though.

“You do not mention anything about S. Maryland Parkway,” William wrote. “There are orange cones everywhere on that street from Wigwam to Cactus.”

That sounds important. So I asked Henderson officials, who said it’s not them. I asked Clark County officials, and here’s what I found out.

This project runs from St. Rose Parkway to Pebble Road. It’ll replace the pavement, widen the road to six lanes with two-way left turn lanes and raised medians, and install traffic signals at Cactus Lane. It should be wrapped up by the end of the year.

So, there will be some headaches until then. I’ll add it to the list.

While we’re on the topic, another reader wrote in Friday to complain about a road project at Lake Mead and Rampart boulevards. But because most of the government offices are closed Friday, I couldn’t find any details about it. I’ll give it a shot next week.

Gary wrote in with a gripe: “The left turn signal on southbound Pecos for getting on eastbound 215 is way too short. With luck five cars will make the turn but the fifth is running red. Didn’t used to be that way. What’s really frustrating is that northbound Pecos traffic is still stopped as if the left turn signal was still green for southbound.”

In a follow-up email, he said this was happening about 3 p.m. That’s important, because traffic signals are timed differently in different parts of the day.

I asked what’s up. Henderson officials sent me to the Regional Transportation Commission, which is in charge of signal timing throughout the valley.

The RTC’s folks did their homework. They went out there and looked at the traffic. Based on what they saw, they adjusted the timing of the signals.

“The reader should see a timing difference,” agency spokeswoman Julie Schaller wrote in an email.

She said they monitored the signal for a couple of days. They checked the equipment, too, to make sure it was fine. It was.

A couple of other things of note:

You may have noticed that it’s hot out there this weekend. Really hot. Way past 110 degrees.

This is not all that big a deal if you’re driving in your car with your air conditioning blasting. But if you’re walking, and if you rely on the valley’s bus system, it could be a problem.

Those buses can break down when it’s this hot outside. The RTC warned folks to make sure they bring water to the bus stop, and recommended checking rtcsnv.com to look up the status of your bus before you go out.

The buses aren’t designed to withstand temperatures higher than 108, so some of them are going to have trouble. Extra buses and mechanics are on hand, but plan ahead.

Also, July 4, surprisingly, is the deadliest day on the roads, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The group, which conducts the famous crash tests, said more than 670 people were killed in crashes on July 4 from 2007 to 2011, an average of 134 every year.

So buckle up.

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