Wild animals like Arizona's bridges to nowhere


Today, I’ll solve a mystery, shoot down a good idea and, if you stick around for the end, explain how smart people sometimes do dumb things.

Ready?

Kathleen wrote in with the same question one of the newsroom editors had. When you cross over the Hoover Dam bypass bridge into Arizona, you’ll see two more bridges that don’t appear to go anywhere. Basically, they connect some dirt over there to some more dirt over here.

What the heck are they?

They’re for the animals, it turns out.

Dustin Krugel with the Arizona Department of Transportation said these wildlife overpasses were built to protect motorists from the area’s bighorn sheep, which are all over the place out there. They have to get from one place to another, like any other animal.

You don’t want a bighorn crossing the road in front of you. These beasts typically weigh a couple of hundred pounds. And they have those giant horns. You hit a rabbit on the road, you feel bad, maybe. But it doesn’t kill you. You hit one of these things, though, and you’ve got problems.

So, yeah, the bridges seem weird. But they do serve a purpose.

Will wrote in with one of those good ideas that will never happen. “Are there any plans to post signage along the express lanes on I-15 on what the fines are for crossing the solid double-white lines?” he wondered.

I’ve written about these lanes before. Lots of people complain that other drivers aren’t following the rules. And it’s true. It’s aggravating as heck. The Nevada Highway Patrol has promised to start enforcing the law more strictly.

But as for signs, the Nevada Department of Transportation said they don’t have any plans to add them. They’ve said the same thing about other signs before. Too many signs on the freeway can be distracting.

Sorry, Will.

Peter wrote in with a timely question. “My daughter will be going to college, out of state, Colorado. She will be gone two years. Can she keep her Nevada car registration?”

She sure can.

Kevin Malone with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles said keeping your daughter’s Nevada registration is no problem. The smog check can be a hassle, though. You’ll need to get the car smog tested while in Colorado, then renew your registration by mail. Or, you can do an early renewal, which changes your renewal date. If your daughter comes back home in the summers, this might be a good idea. Your choice.

There’s some good information on the DMV’s website about this at www.dmvnv.com/regrenewal.htm

Be sure to keep Nevada car insurance if you keep the car registered in Nevada, though. If you drop it, the insurance company will report you and it’ll cost a boatload of money.

But you might look into this a little more, Peter. I went to college in Reno, and I officially changed my address while I was up there. I did it because car insurance was much cheaper for me in Reno than it was in Las Vegas. I don’t know the going rates in Colorado, but maybe you should check.

Incidentally, I also checked with Daria Serna, Malone’s counterpart with Colorado’s motor vehicles department. She said it’s fine for college students to keep their cars registered in their home states.

And now for the stupid part. A couple of weeks ago, I answered a question here about obstructions in the roadway that make it so you can’t see when exiting a driveway or making a right turn.

I talked to the city of Las Vegas traffic engineer, O.C. White. He explained that the city tries to deal with these obstructions safely. He pointed to the exit from Summerlin Parkway to Anasazi Road as an example. It’s hard to see, so the city put up a sign saying, “No right turn on red.”

I always check this stuff out, so I drove up that way with my wife and kids in the car one weekend. I saw the signs, so I wrote about it.

A bunch of readers wrote in saying there are no such signs there.

What?

It turns out, I was probably seeing what I expected to see. Those signs aren’t there. I drove up there again this week, and the only signs there are the ones that say the right lane must turn right.

I checked in with city spokesman Jace Radke, who was nice enough not to laugh at me. It turns out, White was speaking in the past tense when I talked to him. That intersection used to be a problem, so they put up the “no right turn” signs.

But they fixed it after that. They removed the obstruction, so they removed the signs.

Problem solved.

What to do about my malfunctioning brain remains up in the air.

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