Airport signs cause confusion left and right

Thank goodness there were a few public information officers kicking around Monday and Tuesday. Until late Tuesday I thought this column would amount to summer television, you know, when your favorite shows are reruns? Midweek holidays are brutal for reporters trying to gather information. A special shout-out goes to Chris Jones at McCarran International Airport, who scouted out some readers’ concerns on his day off.

David catches a McError: After reducing Paradise Road from five straight lanes to four winding ones to accommodate the new electric signs, McCarran International Airport finally has them working. The problem? The signs over the left lanes read, “All Domestic Airlines still at Terminal 1.” The sign over the right lanes read, “All International Airlines to T3.” Duh. The lanes to T3 are on the left and the lanes to T1 are on the right. I can’t believe after a week of watching confused drivers changing lanes that nobody at the airport has fixed this obvious mistake.

By the time this column is published, this problem should be taken care of, David. McCarran’s Information Systems crews are aware of the situation and planned to make the switcheroo Tuesday so that T1 traffic is directed to the left and T3 to the right, according to Jones. There are apparently two overhead signs farther south on Paradise that direct traffic into the correct lanes and markings embedded in the road. The confusion should be cleared up today. By the end of the month, the electronic messaging signs will be updated to display the airlines’ names and terminals.

Here’s Ed’s complaint about the signage: If you are coming up Russell Road, there are signs leading to the airport, but they end when you reach Paradise, leaving you wondering where to go. Are there plans to add signs?

No, airport officials believe that the directional signage is sufficient as is. There is a giant overhead sign on westbound Russell Road immediately before Paradise that informs drivers which lanes they should be in to head into the airport or through the airport connector tunnel. In addition to that sign, there are other huge blue signs once you make the turn southbound onto Paradise that read “all terminals.”

Michael asks: Is it legal in the United States to drive a vehicle with the steering wheel on the right side? Many foreign vehicles are so constructed.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Michael, yes it is legal to drive a car with the steering wheel placed on the right side, although it seems like it would be challenging. Department spokesman Kevin Malone said we don’t see many of these foreign-made vehicles on our roads because it’s difficult to import a car from a foreign country. It must be built to U.S. safety standards, receive clearance from the U.S. Department of Transportation, pass emissions tests and receive clearance from customs. Sheesh, I don’t know what would be tougher, driving it or getting the dang car in the country. Less than a third of the world’s countries have the steering wheel on the right and drive on the left side of the road. Steering-on-the-right, left-hand-drive countries include the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, India, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia.

An anonymous reader’s DMV question: How long can someone use loaner plates on their pickup truck? We ask out of suspicion because a shady character living in our development has used loaner plates on his truck since it was purchased, leased or stolen in February.

A member of the public can’t check the validity of a license plate on his or her own. Most of those “loaner plates” are on vehicles given to motorists when their own cars are undergoing repairs, but dealerships can loan vehicles for long periods of time as well, according to Malone. That is legal as long as the vehicle is still part of the dealership’s inventory. However, if you remain suspicious, you can log onto the department’s website,, and hit the compliance enforcement icon to fill out a complaint, and representatives of the agency will look into it. You can also lodge a complaint by calling 486-8626.

Several readers have requested information about this: The rest stops along U.S. Highway 95 have looked ready to open for a long time. Any update on when the stops near Laughlin will finally open?

I did answer this question not too long ago and was told by the Nevada Department of Transportation that they would open by June. So, thanks for the heads up. I haven’t driven that route in a while and had no idea they hadn’t opened. According to the department, it is still struggling with water pressure in one of the toilets and didn’t want to open a rest stop with that issue. The latest word is that the $3.4 million state project will be open around July 14.

Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at or 702-387-2904.

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