Half of Clark County buses now stream live camera feeds

Half of Clark County’s public buses are streaming live footage from surveillance cameras, providing a vital tool for law enforcement officers in the wake of a standoff on the Strip last year.

All the double-decker buses traveling along the Strip are equipped to provide real-time camera feeds, and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s entire fleet of more than 400 buses is expected to go live by the end of this month, agency spokesman Brad Seidel said.

“It is going well, and the technology is working as expected,” Seidel said. “There have been no instances that we are aware of in which law enforcement has needed to use the system.”

Up until now, cameras inside RTC buses were capable only of recording images that could be viewed later.

The RTC is spending $248,460 to install equipment that will provide live camera feeds in the wake of a Metro police standoff with gunman Rolando Cardenas, who hid inside a bus parked in front of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in March 2017.

Cardenas could see outside, but SWAT officers could not spot the gunman because a vinyl advertisement blocked the bus windows.

About three hours into the standoff, police used a flash-bang to break the windows and placed a camera-equipped robot inside the bus to get a view of Cardenas, who is accused of fatally shooting one man and wounding another man. Cardenas tossed the robot outside the bus and remained barricaded until he was arrested without incident.

Last summer, RTC officials tested other types of vinyl bus coverings but determined that they made little difference in allowing police to see inside.

The agency will continue to use the same material for the wrap-around ads, which generate up to $2 million annually. That’s enough to cover about 2 percent of the RTC’s service costs, or the equivalent of operating a smaller bus line elsewhere in the Las Vegas Valley.

Trashy parkway

Trash seems to be piling up along Summerlin Parkway, particularly between Anasazi and Buffalo drives, according to Sandra from Las Vegas.

“There’s garbage, lawn droppings from gardeners’ trucks and all types of litter you can imagine,” Sandra wrote in an email to the Road Warrior. “It seems like the city has stopped cleaning up this area.”

Rest assured, Sandra, Las Vegas contracts with a landscape company charged with collecting trash on Thursdays and Fridays along the medians and shoulders of Summerlin Parkway, city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said.

However, ongoing construction is preventing the clean-up crews from accessing some areas of the road, Kurtz said.

“This has allowed the litter to build up in these areas and become unsightly,” Kurtz said, adding that the problem is being addressed with the landscape company.

Tree trimming

Dot from Las Vegas noticed that trees are blocking a set of yellow flashing lights meant for a pedestrian crossing near Faith Lutheran Academy at Town Center Drive and Desert Primrose Lane in Summerlin.

Kurtz said the trees will be “trimmed right away.”

Deteriorated Decatur

Joe and Val each sent emails noting the poor lighting and rough patches of road along Decatur Boulevard, between Cactus Avenue and Blue Diamond Road in the southwest end of the valley.

Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said designs are underway for widening and resurfacing of Decatur between Cactus and Warm Springs Road, with construction expected to start sometime in 2019. However, county officials still need to acquire some right-of-way access before work can begin.

In the meantime, Kulin said, crews will check out this area to see whether temporary repairs are needed.

Road to Pahrump

Roger from Henderson wanted to know when work will be completed on a divided highway to Pahrump.

Construction is expected to start by spring on a project that calls for the addition of a traffic lane in each direction of Blue Diamond Road between Mile Markers 16.3 and 22 in southwest Clark County, said Tony Illia, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The road will be equipped with a raised median barrier, bicycle lanes, new signs and improved lighting by the time work wraps up in late 2020, Illia said.

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

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