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A traffic signal is out? Las Vegas drivers can go here for help

Updated June 4, 2024 - 8:54 am

If you’re a driver, you’ve been there: a motorist waiting and waiting for what seems an eternity for a traffic signal to change from red to green, despite the absence of any cars running through the green-lighted intersection.

It’s an oft-posed inquiry to the Road Warrior by readers concerned about traffic signals and timing and why drivers sometimes end up sitting at a signal for several minutes while no traffic is crossing during a green light.

Luckily for Las Vegas drivers, an agency is on the case to alert officials to potential mistimed traffic signals in and around major corridors in the Las Vegas Valley.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada via its Freeway Arterial System of Transportation (FAST) department serves as the traffic manager for the area. Co-located with the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Nevada Department of Public Safety at the Southern Nevada Traffic Management Center, FAST monitors and coordinates traffic signals throughout the valley to create a smoother, more efficient traffic flow, according to the RTC.

Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City and Mesquite own and maintain their traffic signals.

Repair, replacement of broken signal detectors

The Regional Transportation Commission is in the midst of a multiyear project aimed at repairing and replacing broken signal detectors that are an important part of traffic signal performance. Since the start of the program more than 300 malfunctioning signal sensors have been detected with 50 of those already replaced, according to the RTC.

The FAST team last year also implemented updated traffic signal timing plans to increase efficiency of highly used materials in the valley, the agency said. That resulted in the retiming of 363 traffic signals in the southwest and southeast parts of the valley, increasing travel times during peak hours during weekdays. The project continues to focus on the retiming of signals in other parts of the valley, it said.

The RTC is further investing in modernizing the region’s transportation system via its Intelligent Transportation System master plan. It focuses on providing increased resiliency, connectivity and redundancy to the traffic communications network. The planned update aims at adding more connectivity to new traffic signals as the valley continues expanding, according to the RTC.

Any motorist who believes a traffic signal is mistimed can contact the RTC several ways:

— By calling the Traffic Management Center at 702-901-8400.

— Via email at AskFAST@rtcsnv.com.

— Online by submitting an inquiry on SeeingOrangeNV.com via the “Contact Us” form.

— Or social media by tagging @rtcsnv on social media platform X.

When reporting a traffic signal issue, be sure to provide specific information, such as intersection cross streets, direction of travel, time of day and day of the week. Additional information can speed up the resolution process.

How it works

After an inquiry is received, RTC staff alerts the appropriate department or agency to track and respond.

Although the RTC can adjust traffic signal timing and patterns, some issues may require some time to troubleshoot.

Officials with the jurisdiction where the signal is located may need to handle the fix. In that case, the RTC alerts the proper local agency, which can correct hardware issues such as defunct light bulbs or detection systems that don’t properly detect vehicles, which can lead to traffic backups.

Other factors can interrupt traffic signal timing, such as emergency vehicles traveling toward a signalized intersection and road construction.

“By managing the traffic signal timing coordination across all jurisdictions, we are able to be more efficient and effective as Southern Nevada’s regional traffic management agency,” Theresa Gaisser, senior director of FAST, said in a statement. “And while we utilize strategies to make the most of our existing infrastructure and reduce congestion, we also encourage our community to share with us when they spot problems with traffic signals or have questions about timing.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on X. Send questions and comments to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com.

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