It's been 10 months since I took over the reins here at Road Warrior headquarters and I've had my share of fun taking jabs at government agencies over projects that have taken a ridiculously long time to complete, or roads that are in such awful shape that eventually, recently, one nearly devoured an entire automobile.
We ask readers to submit questions as well as pass on tips and, thankfully, you kindly oblige. We also ask that you throw a tantrum, well, OK, rant about issues that drive you nuts.
Those of you who vent have no forum to be heard.
Until now, that is. You see, it's June, which not only means crews have returned to our tattered roads to apply the final layer of asphalt, but also that it is a very popular time of year for supervisors overseeing seemingly every single major project in our valley to go away on vacation. Together, apparently.
I could go on, but this week, it's your turn to vent.
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Gene lives in Pahrump, which is probably a good thing because his list of pet peeves is on many Las Vegas drivers' I-do-that-daily list.
■ Speeding: Needs no explanation, but why do so few drivers think the posted rate does not pertain to them? Many deaths have occurred because someone wanted to gain two minutes.
A crack about speeding to get out of Pahrump seems obvious here, but this is a serious issue, especially on State Route 160. Anyone who has lived here any length of time knows this stretch between Las Vegas and Pahrump used to be a death trap before improvements were made.
■ Tailgating: OK (expletive), I am not going to go any faster because you are on my bumper. And ... if I slam on my brakes and you hit me, you are at fault.
Definitely annoying. A woman was so close to my tail last week I could identify her makeup: blush MAC Desert Rose; foundation Studio Fix 4.
■ Passing on the right: This is illegal and dangerous, but most people don't know you cannot make a right-hand turn from the shoulder at an intersection where there is no lane. Wait your turn.
■ Changing lanes during a turn in an intersection: This can result in an accident because a driver is not expecting another vehicle to be suddenly in their space. If you start in the left lane, stay there until you complete your turn, then signal and change lanes.
Also irritating is when drivers switch lanes before an intersection, scooting into the right-most lane when they are heading straight. Inevitably the light turns red and everybody turning right is now stuck behind them for the entire signal cycle.
Tony also becomes irate with lane changers.
■ You get to Sahara and Interstate 15 and people become lane-change happy. The area in question is the worst place to ride in all of Las Vegas. I watch helplessly as cars suddenly brake hard and cross two or three lanes of travel, simply because one lane is moving slightly faster than another! I ride a motorcycle and watch helplessly as cars on my left and right hit the area and lane-change madness begins!
And speaking of madness, here's Bill's tirade. It was aimed at me; rightfully so after I wrote a column about how well the traffic lights are synchronized here. Admittedly, it was early on, before I really started to take notice of issues on the road.
■ If you think the timing and left-hand turn arrows of traffic signals in this city are timed properly, you are cuckoo. In other cities, the left-turn signal is in both directions and everyone goes left; left-turn arrow off, everyone goes straight. In Las Vegas, who knows? Sometimes the left-turn arrow is on along with green light for one direction. Oncoming traffic waits. Arrow off, both directions go straight. Then, first green goes off, and opposing left-turn arrow goes on. This is for two directions in the intersection. This idiotic process repeats for the other street in the intersection. Do the math at any major intersection, and see how much time, let alone fuel, is wasted and nerves frazzled. Driving the city streets is bad enough; the traffic signal situation is worse.
Point taken. The signals in town drive a lot of motorists crazy. It's frustrating too when they don't bother to lengthen a signal in a construction zone that causes a greater backup than normal.
And now, allow Susan:
■ I have a rant! I drive to work on the Strip and the times when that becomes difficult are when a sea of California plates are cluelessly navigating Interstate 15, not sure where they want to exit, clogging up traffic. The masses of rental cars are ridiculous to me. What do you need to rent a car for? To drive back and forth two miles? There should be an extra fee attached to each car rented at the airports to fund the roads.
Good point, although some of us, like me, might be guilty of this in San Diego, where it's actually easier to not have a rental car.
Ron's isn't a rant as much as it's a suggestion.
■ While in Victoria, British Columbia, about 30 years ago I noticed at major intersections where the speed limit was over 45 mph the green light would be blinking about 10 or 15 seconds before it changed to amber. This gave the approaching vehicles ample time in warning them that it was changing to red and to decrease their speed.
I suggest they pick a of high-accident intersection such as Tropicana (Avenue) and Koval (Lane), Sahara (Avenue) and Decatur (Boulevard) or Blue Diamond (Road) and Rainbow (Boulevard) to test this system. The cost should be minimal and the results would be very informing.
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I hope this venting session was useful to all you motorists. Feel free to contact me with your own rants, even if they're directed at me.
If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Adrienne Packer at 702-387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@reviewjournal .com. Please include your phone number.