Day In-Day Out On Sinatra

This week readers want to know about construction progress along Frank Sinatra Drive, the reason behind those balloonlike shapes outlined in tar on valley roads, and the law regarding riding bikes and skateboarding on sidewalks.

A reader asks: How much longer will Frank Sinatra Drive, behind Bellagio and CityCenter, be torn up? What about all the extra traffic that will be caused by CityCenter residents and occupants? Which roads will they be using to enter and leave?

CityCenter is slated to be finished near the end of 2009 or early 2010, said Bobby Shelton of the Clark County public works department.

"Before the project finishes up, they will put Frank Sinatra Drive back into as good as or better condition as it was prior to their construction activities," Shelton said, referring to MGM/Mirage which owns the project.

Of course cleaning up the road will probably be the last facets of the construction. CityCenter will have access to both Frank Sinatra Drive and Las Vegas Boulevard when it is finished.

There also will be access to the Harmon Avenue bridge, which goes over Interstate 15, when the construction is done.

Wilma Neverovich writes: I have a question about Craig Road east of U.S. Highway 95. There are what I can only describe as a bunch of balloons drawn or outlined in tar on the pavement. Do you have any idea what they are for?

Wilma, I know exactly what you are talking about. You can see these weird tar balloons all over the valley.

Bob McKenzie, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation, wondered whether what Wilma and I are noticing is tar bleeding out of an aggregate in the pavement.

But I pointed out is that the shapes are too well defined.

Shelton seemed to have the best guess out of the folks I spoke to as to what this is.

He said the shapes may be "counter loops," or loops cut into the roadway and then covered with a tar-like material, normally an epoxy. Those loops count vehicles and the speed at which they travel. The counter loops also can be used to classify what kind of vehicles are using the road -- for instance, small cars, pickups, tractor-trailers or multi-axle vehicles.

Mike writes: What is the law on bicycle riders and skateboarders on the sidewalks?

Capt. Richard Collins, head of the Metropolitan Police Department's traffic bureau, said bicyclists have to obey traffic laws and must travel on the right side of the road.

Nevada Revised Statute 484.503 states, "Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle."

NRS 484.509 states: "Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ... ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction."

There is no NRS for skateboarders, Collins said.

"My officers tell me we write bicycle tickets usually when they are connected to some other hazardous issue," he said.

I discovered that the city of Las Vegas actually has a law stating skateboarders are not allowed to ride in the street, making sidewalks the only viable alternative.

Ordinance 11.22.130 states it is unlawful for anyone to ride a skateboard or similar device on any roadway, the sidewalks at the Fremont Street Experience or on any other public property when signs have been erected at the entrance prohibiting the use of the devices.

According to the ordinance, the only time a skateboarder can ride in the street is while crossing a street at a crosswalk.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at or (702) 387-2904.