Karla Townsend has a message for people driving the neighborhood streets of Summerlin: Slow down. She lives between Summerlin Library and Lake Mead Boulevard walks her yellow Labrador retriever, Dash, at 6 a.m.
“I told my son when he was learning to drive, if you hit a kid or you hit a dog, you’ll remember that the rest of your life,” she said. “It’s always better to just be careful.”
Townsend said the speeding has been a concern for at least 10 years, but that it’s gotten worse lately with people driving roughly 40 mph — 15 mph above the speed limit — even on subdivision residential streets. Others don’t bother to stop at stop signs, she said.
Indeed, as View was in the crosswalk accompanying Townsend on her morning walk, a Mercedes sedan had to screech to a halt at the stop sign to avoid hitting us. Soon after, another Mercedes sedan with a handicapped-parking hang tag on its mirror blew down the street, pedal to the metal.
“See what I mean? Not to be prejudiced, but it’s always the BMWs, the Mercedes, the sports cars,” Townsend said.
About eight years ago, she and her husband, Scott, were walking their dog when a driver in a speeding sports car came within a foot of hitting her, she said. The driver veered away but over-corrected, crashing into a retaining wall at Maple Mist Drive and Spring Gate Lane, the entrance to the Cypress Grove community, and flipped.
They called 911 and waited for the emergency vehicles.
“The thing that amazed me was that he was alive, the way he flipped that car,” she said.
Diana Stix lives in the area and labeled the speeding “outrageous,” saying Spring Gate Lane and Trail Center Drive were the worst.
“It’s supposed to be 25, but I’ve been passed by people going 35 or 40 mph,” Stix said. “And they cross the double yellow line to do it.”
She said drivers often ignore stop signs, and she doesn’t trust drivers to do what’s expected even if they have their signal on.
“The police used to be on motorcycles near the post office,” she said. “People would blow through there all the time. (Police) could make their quota in one day — one morning.”
Ward 2 City Councilman Bob Beers said he has requested the police department send out a squad car but noted that officers can’t be there every day.
“Both roads (Hills Center Drive and Hillpointe Road) are four-lane and one of them is divided, and they do seem to draw higher speeds out of drivers,” he said. “It feels kind of highway-ish. The answer to what can be done is periodic Metro enforcement.”
People with concerns can attend a First Tuesday event, said Officer Michael Rodriguez of the Metropolitan Police Department.
“There, they can speak with officers and at least get some amount of answers,” he said. “Or they can call and ask for extra enforcement. We have an enforcement squad of our traffic division that is specifically designated to respond to problem areas.”
That squad consists of a supervisor and about 10 officers. Metro’s Northwest Area Command has 110 officers. They respond to calls for service and, in between calls for service, also are tasked with law enforcement — and they can’t be everywhere at once, Rodriguez said.
Townsend thought a sign that clocked drivers and flashed their speed would be helpful. She also suggested that Metro need only sit near the school zones, adding, “they’d make lots of money by ticketing people …
“What I should do is bring out my black blower and scare everybody,” Townsend joked, suggesting it looked like a police radar gun.
Metro had the last word.
“You have a responsibility when you’re on the road, to you and to everybody else, to drive safely and pay attention to the rules of the road,” Rodriguez said.
Contact Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.
Speeding: First offense, $205; second offense, $230
Reckless driving, or DUI — liquor and/or drugs: Court-imposed fine
Source: Las Vegas Municipal Court