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Double-barrel turns simplified

This week readers want to know what the rules are for two lanes of traffic making left turns onto a three-lane road, why the road at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Bonanza Road is being dug up, and why school zone signs are flashing near Jones Boulevard and Washington Avenue even though school’s out for the summer. Plus, a reader offers a special hit ‘n’ run about the oil organization we all love to hate, especially this year.

Michael Offord asks: What is the law regarding a double left turn onto a three-lane highway? I have always thought that the left lane of the two had to turn into the left or fast lane of the three and that the right lane of the two had either a choice of the center lane or slow lane to pull into.

Well, the Nevada Revised Statute does not clearly address this issue.

The closest law that comes to answering your question is NRS 484.333, section 4, which states, “the left turn must be made by passing to the right of the centerline of the highway being entered upon.”

That’s not exactly what we in the writing business would call ‘reader-friendly.’

Lt. Carlos Cordeiro, with the Metropolitan Police Department’s traffic bureau, helped explain it.

“Common sense tells us that if (a driver) is on the outside lane of two left turn lanes, and turning left into a roadway with multiple lanes, then the most direct and safest route is to turn into the outside lane of the new roadway if only two lanes, and into the middle lane of a roadway with three lanes,” the lieutenant said.

So to answer your question, if you are turning left from the right of two left turn lanes onto a three way road, you should turn into the center lane. Once you are in the center lane, you can use your turn signal to get over to the right lane.

A reader asks: Why are they digging up the road at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Bonanza Road, and when is all this construction going to end?

Las Vegas is in the midst of a $36 million widening project that will see Martin Luther King grow from four to six lanes, between Alta Drive and Carey Avenue. The whole project won’t be finished until late 2009.

The major work being done right now is moving utility lines underground between Bonanza and Washington Avenue, said Debby Ackerman, spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Public Works Department.

That is the construction work the reader is referring to.

Unfortunately, the project is about two or three weeks behind schedule, I recently found out. As a result construction will continue at the intersection probably until February 2009.

It also means the opening of the Martin Luther King exit off U.S. Highway 95 — which I am often asked about — will also be delayed until the utility line work is done.

Tom Zajas asks: Here it is the beginning of July and there are still some school zone caution lights flashing, without any 12-month school signs. Two zones in particular are on Jones Boulevard, between Smoke Ranch Road and Washington Avenue. Are there schools there that are still in operation or did someone forget to shut the lights off?

There are actually three Clark County elementary schools in the area you describe that operate year round, according to the Clark County School District’s Web site.

They are Fong at 2200 James Bilbray Drive, Culley at 1200 North Mallard St., and Ronzone at 5701 Stacey Ave.

However, Bobby Shelton, spokesman for the Clark County public works department, said he is aware of some inadvertent flashing of school signs in some areas, including near Durango Drive and Hacienda Avenue.

But that is nowhere near the area you are referring to, Tom.

Speaking for the county, Shelton said, there have been some upgrades made to the sign technology which has made some flash prematurely. The county is fixing the problems as they find them, Shelton said.

Hit n’ Run

Robert called after noticing this personalized license plate on a Toyota Prius hybrid driving on the Tropicana Avenue overpass over Interstate 15: OPEC-H8R.

Translation: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries hater.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Francis McCabe at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number.

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