Countdown clocks have issues, but dancing signal may be helping

Around the holiday season, I especially enjoy some of the things Warrior readers send in to brighten my inbox.

After some of the carnage they’ve seen on local streets lately, Warrior readers Don and Chris said all they want for Christmas are a few well-placed countdown signals that have been tested across the country and are in use in some cities in Asia.

You know what I’m talking about. Wouldn’t it be great if in addition to the traffic lights at busy intersections there also would be a digital countdown clock showing the number of seconds until the light changes to the next cycle?

Many motorists already have a de facto countdown clock they rely upon — the pedestrian signals on the side that tell those on foot just how much time they have to get to a safe spot when crossing the street.

Unfortunately, those aren’t always reliable because some of them go to another signal phase before turning from green to amber to red.

Many like the idea of having a countdown clock to provide better information to indecisive motorists to make the decision of whether to go through an intersection or to come to a stop.

According to transportation studies, those advocating countdown clocks should be careful for what they wish for because they might get it and a resulting bigger problem.

Countdown systems have been tested in Rockville, Md., San Jose, Calif., and Abilene, Texas. They’ve also been tried in Toronto and Abu Dhabi and installed widely in China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Researchers have studied the effect they’ve had on accident rates.

Possibly the most comprehensive report was written by the Journal for the Institute of Transportation Engineers. A paper by Hongyun Chen, Huaguo Zhou and Peter Hsu concluded that countdown clocks at intersections actually increase the number of collisions. The researchers believe the reason is that the surety that the light is going to change in 3 … 2 … 1 seconds makes motorists overconfident in their decision-making.

What usually happens is that a motorist trailing another car assumes the lead car is going pass through the intersection. So, instead of slowing down, they hit the gas and the result is a rear-end collision.

“The objective of the device is to inform a driver’s current signal status so that installing the device might have some effects on decreasing delays and increasing safety by reducing drivers’ response time,” the report said.

“It was long believed that the increased level of certainty would improve the drivers’ decision-making ability, awareness and safety. However, based on real-world data, the anticipated safety and operational benefits were not realized.”

Similar research reports made the same conclusion. There was either no difference or worse safety records at intersections featuring a countdown system.

That’s why we’re not seeing any movement to bring the devices to American cities, despite what seems like a great solution to the red-light-running problem we have in Las Vegas.

Warrior readers Fran and Dennis shared another traffic signal update that made my day.

This one came from Lisbon, Portugal, where traffic engineers were finding that pedestrians simply weren’t paying attention to the “walk” and “don’t walk” signals that were displayed in a prominent public square.

Lisbon arranged to install the Dancing Traffic Light Manikin by Smart to change that.

A YouTube video promoting the product says, “Nobody likes to wait. That makes traffic lights the most dangerous spots for pedestrians in the city.” The video then asks, “But what if we made waiting more entertaining?”

The signal showing a waiting pedestrian suddenly springs to life and begins dancing. Until the green “walk” cycle begins, the figure within the signal is showing moves that would make John Travolta proud.

The technology that makes the signal come to life is a camera in a booth near the crosswalk that captures volunteer dancers and translates their actions into pixels that are shown in real time within the signal. Volunteer dancers have their choice of several different musical genres to show off their moves.

According to Smart research, 81 percent more people stopped at the traffic signal to watch the performance before they crossed the street.

Wouldn’t this be a cool attraction here to get pedestrians’ attention, especially considering Las Vegas is the Entertainment Capital of the World?

Because the Strip is criss-crossed with overhead pedestrian walkways, it probably would make more sense to install such an attraction at the crosswalks beneath the Fremont Street Experience rather than on the Strip. Pedestrian inattention has resulted in a number of near-misses at the Fourth Street and Casino Center crossings at Fremont Street.

If downtown businesses collaborated to buy a system, they could develop an entertaining safety feature that also could become a new tourist attraction for the downtown venue.

— Questions and comments should be sent to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Follow the Road Warrior: @RJroadwarrior

ROAD WORK AHEAD

— The westbound lane of Twain Avenue between Nellis Boulevard and Cabana Drive will be restricted through Wednesday for sewer line construction. Westbound traffic will be shifted onto eastbound lanes from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

— Lane shifts have occurred along the northern 215 Beltway between North Fifth Street and Aliante Parkway for the construction of permanent roadway, a concrete barrier and street lights. Speed limits are reduced to 45 mph and the shift will be in effect through December.

— Work will continue through mid-January on soil and groundwater testing along highway and arterial rights-of-way for the Project Neon interchange between Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 95 and along Sahara Avenue, Charleston Boulevard, Martin Luther King Boulevard and Desert Lane. The Nevada Department of Transportation will bore 120 holes along the Project Neon corridor to ensure the security of the ground for bridge pilings. Lanes will be restricted and work will occur between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

— Work on the Regional Transportation Commission’s Flamingo Road Corridor Improvement Project will move to between Eastern Avenue and Jimmy Durante Boulevard through December. Daytime and overnight construction is scheduled. Construction will continue on the west side of Flamingo from Rainbow Boulevard to Hotel Rio Drive through fall 2016. Work will not take place on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

— Interstate 15 traffic has been shifted to southbound lanes at Milepost 16 in the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona for the demolition of a bridge that is being replaced. There will be a single lane in each direction of I-15, but state officials say motorists should expect delays of up to 15 minutes through December.

— Main Street traffic has been shifted to the west side of the roadway to the new pavement on the east side of the street to allow workers to begin sidewalk removal between Bridger and Bonneville avenues. Work will continue between Bonneville and the U.S. Highway 95 overpass through December.

— Lane restrictions are planned in both directions of West Charleston Boulevard between Montclair Street and Decatur Boulevard on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Access to businesses may be temporarily altered and travel lanes reduced. Left-turn lanes at the intersection of Charleston and Decatur will be reduced to single lanes. Montclair will remain open, but there will be no access to or from westbound Charleston. Montclair will be restricted to right turns only onto Charleston and motorists turning from Montclair onto eastbound Charleston will only be able to turn right at Decatur. Completion is scheduled for late December.

— Westbound lanes of Patrick Lane will be restricted from Pearl Street to Pecos Road, Mondays through Fridays, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., through Dec. 30, for a water reclamation line project. Traffic will be shifted to the right lane during construction.

— A major sewer line project continues at Durango Drive-Rampart Boulevard and Cheyenne Avenue. The project will add 1.1 miles of 30- and 36-inch sewer pipe from that intersection to the Durango Hills Water Resource Center and eastward along Cheyenne past Cimarron Road. Tunnelling along the route will continue through December. Two travel lanes are expected to be maintained through the duration of the project, but Lake Mead Boulevard is recommended as an east-west alternative and Buffalo Drive is recommended for north-south traffic.

— Travel lanes will be restricted and a flagger present on a 21-mile upgrade of State Route 160, the highway between Las Vegas and Pahrump, between Mileposts 22 and 43. The project includes the addition of 14 paved median crossovers. Work is scheduled through early January, Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Travel lanes will be open when construction isn’t occurring.

— Northbound and southbound Decatur Boulevard will be pushed to the east half of the street between Via de Palma Drive and Sahara Avenue, Mondays through Fridays through Jan. 15 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a sewer line project.

— Geotechnical exploratory drilling along the east and west sides of Interstate 15 between Sahara Avenue and U.S. Highway 95 at Martin Luther King Boulevard is scheduled during daylight hours through Jan. 15 for the Project Neon Spaghetti Bowl project. Moving lane restrictions are planned and there will be some temporary noise and vibration disruptions.

— Traffic will be restricted on Main Street between Bonneville and Hoover avenues through January for utility project. Southwest Gas pipeline relocations begun in mid-November will continue through January. Traffic will be reduced to single lanes during the work on the Main-Commerce project.

— Fifth Street in North Las Vegas is closed between Cheyenne Avenue and Losee Road through February for the construction of an overpass route that will connect Fifth to East Carey Avenue.

— Craig Road will be restricted to two lanes in each direction at Simmons Street for a water drainage project that will be completed in February.

— Restrictions will be in place through February on Lamb Boulevard between Wyoming Avenue and Vegas Valley Drive for a water pipeline rehabilitation project. Lamb will be reduced to one lane in each direction and left turns will be prohibited. Two lanes will be open in each direction during daylight hours. Work is scheduled Sundays through Thursdays, 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

— Robindale Road will be closed at Bermuda Road for sewer line construction with incremental road closures west to Gilespie Street through March 4. Construction will occur Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closures will remain in effect while work isn’t being performed. Property access will be maintained throughout the project.

— Transit Route 109, the Maryland Parkway route, will be detoured because of road construction through April. Stops on George Crockett Road will not be served. Alternative stops are available on Routes 117 (Las Vegas Boulevard South and Silverado Ranch Road) and 217 (Warm Springs Road and downtown Henderson).

— The ramp connecting Sunset Road to the southbound Airport Connector is closed through fall 2016. Traffic lanes and shoulders will be restricted on the Airport Connector between Interstate 215 and the airport tunnel through mid-2016 for the construction of a flyover lane from the southbound connector to eastbound I-215.

GASOLINE PRICES

The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $2.53 per gallon. It was $2.49 in Nevada. The national average of $2 is down 2 cents from a week ago, down 13 cents from a month ago and down 47 cents from a year ago.

— Las Vegas Review-Journal

ad-high_impact_4
News
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like