Don’t ride your bike on the sidewalk, even on Las Vegas Strip

Pedaling down the Strip can sometimes feel like an obstacle course for bicyclists trying to dodge the throngs of vehicles and pedestrians.

Given the precarious conditions, Dan from Las Vegas wanted to know whether it is legal to ride his bike on the sidewalks lining Las Vegas Boulevard.

“Some of the police officers I’ve come across say it’s illegal, but some of the bicycle cops told me that it’s completely legal,” said Dan, who gets around on a bicycle after his truck was totaled by a red-light runner.

“I never get a clear answer,” Dan said. “I think this would be fixed simply by adding an actual bike lane that people could actually use.”

To be clear, Officer Larry Hadfield from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said it’s illegal to ride bicycles on all sidewalks — even on the Strip. Cyclists could be cited for riding on a sidewalk.

“The same rules apply everywhere,” Hadfield said. “Bicyclists need to obey all traffic laws and stay to the right when riding.”

Currently, bicyclists don’t have a designated lane on Las Vegas Boulevard — and there are no plans to add one, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said.

You might find it easier to ride in downtown Las Vegas, where several main streets are equipped with protected “green lane” bicycle paths. Bicycles can also be rented for a pretty reasonable price at more than 20 stations scattered across downtown and operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

Boulder signal

Tara lives in the east valley and wanted to know if a traffic light could be installed on a heavily traveled section of Boulder Highway, between Russell and Gibson roads.

“In that area, there is a turn-around with no street light or pedestrian crossing,” Tara wrote in an email to the Road Warrior. “Over the past nine years I have lived here, there have been multiple accidents and even a death.”

Construction is expected to start by summer on a $2 million project aimed at improving eight intersections along Boulder Highway, said Tony Illia, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

However, that specific section of Boulder Highway is not on a list provided by NDOT. The nearest upgrades slated for that area of Boulder Highway are at Hamilton Avenue to the north, and at Foster Avenue to the south.

Clark County saw a record high of 78 pedestrians who were fatally struck on public roads in 2017 — nine of whom were killed while walking along Boulder Highway. NDOT and the RTC are expected to release a study this summer that will outline several short-term and long-term improvements for the state highway.

Right rules

Ben from Las Vegas wanted to know how to deal with right turns on wide, single-lane streets that are common in several parts of the valley.

“Should drivers move toward the wide shoulder to turn right, or should a vehicle slow down within the flow of traffic to make the right turn?” Ben asked.

Trooper Jason Buratczuk of the Nevada Highway Patrol said that if there is a solid white line marking a right shoulder, then you cannot pull into that shoulder to make your turn.

“Most white lines either disappear or become broken white lines within 100 feet from a corner so motorists can exit the flow of traffic to make the turn,” Buratczuk said. “So if there is a line marking a shoulder, then stay in the flow until the line breaks or disappears, slow down, merge right and make your turn.”

Blocked pocket

Kaki from northwest Las Vegas noted construction had recently wrapped up at Durango Drive and Farm Road, but orange cones are now blocking a left-turn pocket leading into a shopping center anchored by Albertsons.

Las Vegas city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said the newly built left-turn lane must remain closed because the westbound pavement width is not sufficient for most vehicles to make a safe U-turn.

The private developer who worked on that project is expected to build a new driveway into the shopping center sometime soon, Kurtz said. Meanwhile, NDOT officials are figuring out some temporary improvements to get a new signal activated at Farm Road.

Questions and comments should be sent to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Follow @RJroadwarrior on Twitter.

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