With the orange construction cone being deemed the unofficial state flower of Nevada, there is a bevy of roadwork projects occurring across Las Vegas.
Though the work is needed to accommodate the ever-growing Las Vegas Valley, the majority of motorists in Clark County find the traffic backups associated with those projects an annoyance.
That leads some drivers to skirt traffic laws in construction zones, putting the lives of those workers carrying out the needed work at risk.
There have been 24 Nevada Department of Transportation employees killed in the line of duty on Nevada roads since 1948. The department oversees 763 miles of freeways and roads in Clark County, with over 18.3 million vehicle miles traveled in southern Nevada last year.
Work zones are needed to maintain and improve the community’s roadway network. Cones, signs and other work zone directions help protect the lives of highway workers while delivering motorists safely to their destination.
“It’s important to slow down through work zones, pay full attention, minimize distractions, including cellphone use, and make any necessary merges in advance rather than unnecessarily weaving in and out of traffic,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “It’s also a good practice to keep a safe distance from nearby vehicles, traffic barriers, construction equipment and workers when possible.”
Transportation officials will highlight the critical issue this week during National Work Zone Awareness Week.
The 20th annual event, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, the American Traffic Safety Services and other transportation entities, wants motorists to “Drive Like You Work Here.”
“Work zone safety awareness week helps reiterate the importance of slowing down through active construction projects and obeying the posted signage,” Illia said. “State transportation employees are hard-working committed community members. They sweat and toil daily under the elements for our benefit, maintaining and enhancing our public infrastructure. They are our neighbors, family and friends. It’s not right that they should risk their lives earning a living.”
Not only is disregarding traffic laws in construction zone dangerous for all parties, but it can also hurt drivers’ pocketbooks. Motorists face double penalties for speeding — up to $1,000 — through any marked road construction or maintenance work zone when workers are present.
Lyft to the Aviators game
With the Las Vegas Aviators games set to kick off this week at the newly constructed Las Vegas Ballpark, fans looking to enjoy alcoholic beverages at games are urged to seek alternative travel.
To help streamline that, Lyft and the Aviators announced a partnership naming the ride-hailing giant an official partner of the team.
A designated pickup/drop-off area will be located across the street from the ballpark at the Downtown Summerlin mall dining arroyo. Users can travel between the Lyft site and the ballpark using the newly built pedestrian walkway, which will feature traffic control personnel assisting fans across Pavilion Center Drive.
“We are excited to partner with Lyft and provide our fans with affordable, reliable and safe transportation to and from the new Las Vegas Ballpark,” Aviators president Don Logan said. “The emergence of Downtown Summerlin as an exciting new sports hub has fueled demand for efficient ride-share options for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the new state-of-the-art stadium.”
Coinciding with the first Aviators game at the ballpark, first-time Lyft users can use the promo code “LVAVIATORS” to receive $2 off their first 10 rides.
“Tickets for opening night sold out in just 10 minutes, so it’s clear fans will be flocking to Downtown Summerlin to see the Aviators take flight,” said Yacob Girma, Lyft Nevada general manager. “We want to be sure fans can enjoy their evening and Las Vegas Ballpark experience without worrying about traffic, finding a place to park and getting home safely.”
Alta/Bonneville lane restrictions
Alta Drive/Bonneville Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Commerce Street from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Friday, NDOT announced last week.
The temporary restrictions are needed for milling and asphalt paving as well as lane striping as part of Project Neon’s nearly $1 billion, 4-mile-long widening of Interstate 15.
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