Signs of Confusion

This week readers want to know why Clark County uses the phrase "freeway ends" on the Las Vegas Beltway, are there any plans to fix Eastern Avenue near Pebble Road and whether drivers should get out of the way if they see someone is speeding up from behind. Also, we learn what the word headbanger really means.

Jim Brush asks: The folks in charge of Beltway things continue to put up those darnfangled signs reading "Freeway Ends," which is misinformation at best. I've heard of newcomers or visitors to the region (after seeing such a sign) looking for a way to escape the Beltway, lest they suddenly crash into a barricade on yonder.

Mr. Brush suggests a sign with his own original poetry:

"Just ahead ends the freeway,

But there's still lots a leeway,

For it remains a viable byway,

Since it continues as a highway."

I would have added "with lights" at the end, but it doesn't rhyme.

Bobby Shelton, spokesman for the Clark County Public Works Department said the freeway does technically end in some areas, including Charleston Boulevard, south of Far Hills Avenue.

You see, a freeway stops being a freeway when speed limits are reduced and traffic lights interrupt traffic flow.

Shelton pointed out that these signs will disappear once Far Hills and the Summerlin Parkway interchanges are completed in 2010 and the Beltway will be one continuous freeway, until drivers get to the northwest valley.

"Freeway ends" does seem confusing at first glance, but I've noticed on the Beltway that those signs often are followed by signs stating there are traffic lights ahead.

New residents in the area will learn quickly what it means. As for tourists, I recommend they take Charleston Boulevard to Red Rock Resort.

Jack Schreiman asks: I live off of south Eastern Avenue, between Pebble Road and Wigwam Avenue. About eight years ago a company stripped the surface off the road in preparation for a road. To this day the street has decayed to a point that normal traffic has worn the remaining surface into ruts. The debris caused by this is little pea sized tar balls that are thrown to the sidewalks. When is this going to be fixed?

Shelton said the Public Works Department is aware of the situation on Eastern.

"The county is in the process of designing a project to make the necessary repairs," he said. "Once the project is designed, and the necessary funding is obtained, the county will make the repairs as quickly as possible."

All of that translates into repairs starting in six to 10 months, Shelton said.

From my experience, I'd venture it will be closer to 10 months.

Martin Manke asks: Please help resolve a dispute between my lead foot wife and I. Upon traveling in the carpool lane on U.S. 95, is one required to move to the right when faster moving cars approach from the rear?

There is no rule like that, said trooper Kevin Honea of the Nevada Highway Patrol. "Obviously, if you are going the speed limit, you are not violating the law," he said.

But at the same time, Honea added, don't open yourself up to a road rage incident by trying to frustrate an obvious law breaker who is trying to intimidate you into getting out of the way.

"We recommend you let them pass," Honea said.

In that situation, a driver should dial "star NHP" on their cell phone and report the license plate to dispatchers, he said.

If a trooper doesn't get the culprit down the road, the computer-assisted dispatching system will record the complaint, and the next time that driver is pulled over, they won't get away with a warning, Honea said.

By the way Martin, I have a feeling that "lead foot wife" reference probably isn't going to go over well.

Hit n' Run

Intrepid reader Melissa saw this license plate on a sedan on Losee Road, near Lone Mountain Road: HEDBNGR, or headbanger. Webster's defines a headbanger as someone who listens to heavy metal music or someone stuck in traffic on the Las Vegas Beltway near Decatur Boulevard.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Francis McCabe at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to Please include your phone number.