It just seems like traffic signals stay red forever

We open this week’s installment of Ask the Road Warrior with a query from loyal reader Royce, who prefers using city streets rather than freeways when traveling the valley:

“At what intersections are two or three of the longest traffic light sequences so I can try to avoid them?

That’s a question all Southern Nevada drivers have wondered at some point – usually while we’re idling at an intersection, waiting … and waiting … and waiting for our interminable red light to change.

Adrienne Packer of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, the agency that coordinates the operation of valley traffic signals, has an explanation, as well as a quasi-answer to Royce’s question:

“The length of signals varies, depending on traffic volume, number of lanes, day of the week, time of day, land use and proximity to adjacent traffic signals. There is no set cycle length for all intersections.

“However, primary arterials such as Sahara Avenue, Rainbow Boulevard and Eastern Avenue are some of the valley’s most well-traveled, and during peak hours motorists will experience longer signal lengths to keep traffic moving efficiently. Signal cycles are shorter during nonpeak hours and on weekends when traffic tends to be lighter.

“Typically, the longest a motorist will wait at a red light is approximately 140 seconds.”

Is it just Royce and the Road Warrior, or doesn’t it seem a lot longer?

Patrick and his wife are having a disagreement, but instead of appearing on “Dr. Phil,” they come to the Road Warrior: “When you’re at a stoplight and the sign by the traffic signal has an arrow pointing to the left and states ‘Left Turn Only,’ I say you can only turn left and not make a U-turn. My wife disagrees and says you can make a U-turn because there’s no sign prohibiting it. What is the definition of ‘only’ in this situation? Am I taking it too literally?”

Even Dr. Phil has to check with an expert occasionally. So the Road Warrior went to the Metropolitan Police Department, where officer Laura Meltzer provided the literal answer: “The ‘Left Turn Only’ sign implies you have to make a left turn in some form – either a traditional left-hand turn or a U-turn. A U-turn is only prohibited where signage says that’s the case.”

Karl wants to know what gives with what he says are various maximum speeds posted for area school zones: “I’ve seen 15 mph, 20 mph and 25 mph. What’s wrong with using 20 mph throughout, like every other place I’ve ever been does?”

While consistency would seem to make sense, what Karl is seeing is not the reality of the situation, says Diana Paul of the city of Las Vegas.

“School zone and school crossing zone speed limits are established under state law. School zones are 15 mph and are areas that are immediately adjacent to a school. School crossing zones are 25 mph and are locations away from school property that have been designated along a ‘suggested route’ for children to use on their way to school.”

Do what the Road Warrior does, Karl, and play it safe by driving 15 mph through all school-related zones.

As traffic congestion continues to build in the sprawling southwest valley, Andrew inquires: “Are there any plans to widen Durango Drive between Blue Diamond Road and Windmill Lane?

Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin has the answer, or as much of one as there is at this point:

“There are plans to widen to six lanes. The bid is expected to go out next year, although no date has been set.”

Bryce is curious about two large metal pillars that have been installed eastbound and westbound on Warm Springs Road, near Paradise Road and Interstate 215: “Since the pillars appeared a few months ago, I haven’t seen any activity. Do you know what they’re for?”

According to Damon Hodge of the Nevada Department of Transportation, who checked with a Clark County consultant on the project, “The pillars are for the upcoming installation of an over-height protection of the Warm Springs Bridge – in other words, a protection from vehicles that exceed height restrictions. The clearances for the structure’s falsework, or temporary structure that serves as a placeholder until the main structure is built, are being calculated by engineers.

“When those clearances are finalized, a hard crash beam will be installed on those pillars before the structure. These beams will span travel lanes in both directions and be set inches below the clearance elevation. So, if a vehicle traveling on Warm Springs is tall enough to potentially strike the bridge, these beams will act as an early warning system, allowing the driver to stop and detour accordingly.”

Al would like to know where the powers-that-be get off – pun intended – deciding the Interstate 15 southbound offramp onto St. Rose Parkway should have a “recommended” exit speed of only 30 mph: “This is a long, high-speed exit ramp that should be at least 45 mph, better 50 mph. If someone really slowed to 30 mph, he or she would likely be rear-ended.”

If not rear-ended, angrily tailgated all the way up to the light.

Truth is, exit ramp signs are advisory (or cautionary), not mandatory, the Transportation Department’s Hodge tells us: “For this ramp, the advisory would be for the curves that are closer to St. Rose, as well as the splits for eastbound and westbound St. Rose that follow.”

■■■

NOTE: The Road Warrior will be on vacation next week. Answers to your questions will resume in two weeks.

If you have traffic questions or gripes, email them to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please be specific, and include your phone number. Not all questions can be answered in print. Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter: @RJroadwarrior.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Protesters Line Streets for President Trump's Arrival in Las Vegas
Hundreds lined the streets in front of Suncoast to protest President Donald Trump's arrival in Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Thunder Mountain monument stands as a tribute to Native American culture
Caretaker Fred Lewis talks about Thunder Mountain monument in central Nevada, made from concrete and found items. The five-acre site is a tribute to Native Peoples of the West. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New CCSD superintendent Jesus F. Jara aims for 1st in the nation
On his third day as Clark County School District superintendent, Jesus F. Jara talks about his vision for the future during a visit to Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts on Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Ceremony Recognizes Refugee Students, Graduates
Rosy Mibulano, a graduate of Las Vegas High School who came to America from the Congo in 2015, was recognized in a ceremony for refugee students in Clark County. Like many other students relocated to Las Vegas from countries around the world, Rosy had a challenging high school experience, from learning English to adjusting to American customs and taking care of her family. On top of that, she wants to go to school to become a nurse so she can take care of her mother, who suffers from diabetes. The annual Refugee Recognition Ceremony celebrates the enormous lengths these young adults go through to create a new life for themselves. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Water leak at Mandalay Bay convention center
The convention center area of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas experienced major flooding Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Melinda Cook
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like