Traffic feedback signs help quell speeders

Drivers must not exceed 25 mph on Lindell Road from Oakey to Charleston boulevards, but they do it daily, according to a neighbor in that residential area.

“They love to do doughnuts here; they skid out, and they turn,” said Jennifer Lewis, who lives on Del Monte Avenue near the Lindell Road intersection.

She said motorists also speed and cut off other drivers when the 15 mph school zone is active as children are departing and arriving at Hancock Elementary School about a block south at 1661 Lindell Road, where Lewis’ daughter attends fifth grade.

Even a message painted on a nearby wall on Lindell Road, featuring the words “slow down, children crossing” in large letters, wasn’t enough to slow traffic, Lewis said.

To help keep motorists in check, a temporary driver feedback sign, sometimes called a speed trailer, was placed a block away from Lewis’ home, to the north at the Mountain View Drive intersection, clocking motorists’ speed via radar and displaying it digitally. The sign has since been deactivated.

Temporary or permanent driver feedback signs can be installed by local jurisdictions in problematic areas if people request them, area officials said.

“The city of Las Vegas has a portable speed trailer that we deploy whenever a citizen calls with a speeding concern on a particular street; we will generally put it out for two weeks,” said Mike Janssen, city transportation manager. “To place a more permanent sign, we would perform a traffic study … and then seek funding if the evaluation showed the device would be helpful.”

The same generally holds true elsewhere around the valley.

“We do a minimum of two to three days of having the trailer out there,” said Michelle French, city of Henderson public information officer. “We’re getting speed counts; we’re getting traffic counts; we’re trying to find out what time of day we’re having speed issues.”

She said officials then evaluate the data and decide what action to take.

Installing driver feedback signs on a temporary basis is often more effective than installing a permanent one, said Erin Breen, director of UNLV’s Vulnerable Road Users Project.

“For a week, maybe two weeks, it’s a great reminder,” Breen said. “If it was there every day, it would just sort of blend in, and you wouldn’t notice it.”

Breen said residents should contact a traffic engineer from their local jurisdiction to request the signs.

“Usually, they are tied to a school if they’re in a neighborhood,” she said. “Several school zones in Henderson, they have them.”

In North Las Vegas, residents submit numerous requests for the temporary devices, and sometimes, demand exceeds the supply, according to Alyssa Reynolds Rodriguez, city of North Las Vegas traffic engineer.

“There may be times when the request is placed on a waiting list,” Rodriguez said.

She said to install permanent signs, residents must go through what the city calls a traffic calming process.

“That involves a petition from the community, an evaluation of speeds and traffic volumes and a presentation to the Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee,” she said. “In order for us to install the signs, there must be a measurable speeding problem.”

— To reach Henderson View reporter Cassandra Keenan, email ckeenan@viewnews.com or call 702-383-0278. Find her on Twitter: @CassandraKNews.

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