With the start of National Bike Month on Tuesday, a local cycling advocacy group wants to remind motorists about the so-called “three feet rule.”
Enacted by the state Legislature in 2011, the law requires drivers to leave at least 3 feet of space on the road when passing a bicyclist, or to move into an adjacent left lane whenever one is available.
First-time violators can be charged with a misdemeanor with fines up to $275 and a possible license suspension.
“We see a lot of violations for this rule, but it’s difficult to get cited unless you have someone right there measuring the distance,” said Keely Brooks, president of the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition.
“We try to be clear that it’s the responsibility of both drivers and bicyclists to know the rules of the road,” Brooks said. “Cyclists need to ride conservatively, plan out their routes and know which roads have sufficient space and bicycle lanes.”
Las Vegas ranks third out of 32 metropolitan cities nationwide for bicyclist fatalities per 1 million people, according to the National Highway Transportation Administration.
Through all of 2017, nine bicyclists were killed statewide, seven in Clark County.
Preliminary state data shows that five bicyclists have died in Nevada so far this year, including three in the Las Vegas Valley.
“We are ahead from the same time as last year,” Brooks said. “We want zero collisions and zero fatalities through the rest of the year.”
To stay safe, Brooks suggested that bicyclists ride with the flow of traffic, wear bright-colored clothes and a helmet and obey the basic childhood rule of looking both ways before crossing the street.
“Don’t assume motorists can see you just because you have the right of way,” Brooks said. “Do everything you can to be noticed because motorists aren’t always trained to look out for cyclists.”
Jim from Las Vegas wanted to know whether Clark County officials plan to widen a 6½-mile stretch of Cactus Road between Rainbow Boulevard and Spencer Street in the south valley.
County spokesman Dan Kulin said there are a few improvement projects slated for Cactus — but don’t expect them all to start at the same time.
By the end of the year, crews are expected to start improving Cactus between Spencer and Las Vegas Boulevard, Kulin said. Work could start as soon as summer 2019 on a section of Cactus between Verona Wood Street and Valley View Boulevard.
And, Kulin said that a new traffic signal was installed last fall at Cactus and Valley View.
Joe from Las Vegas said the tall mast freeway lights have gone out at Rancho Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and no longer illuminate this bustling freeway interchange near the Santa Fe Casino in the northwest valley.
“There must be six of these lights that have not been working for four months and it makes the area very dark,” Joe said, adding that he’s received some conflicting information from the Nevada Department of Transportation.
It turns out the long-term outage was the result of an electrical short that was repaired a few weeks ago, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said.
Brian from North Las Vegas said he noticed a pair of “ominous but vague electronic signs” warning of roadwork that started April 14 along Craig Road between Jones Boulevard and Valley Drive.
It appears Southwest Gas is completing some nighttime construction on Craig between Jones and North Fifth Street for a gas line replacement project, said Delen Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the city of North Las Vegas. The project is expected to take several months to complete.
Vera from Henderson said the wide intersection at Galleria Drive and Water Street “desperately” needs a traffic signal.
“We have been told that Cadence will install one when its development is built out, which is in another 10 years,” Vera said.
Unfortunately, it isn’t clear when a traffic signal is coming to this intersection. Henderson city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards confirmed that improvement designs are completed, but “the Cadence master developer is responsible for the construction, and the city doesn’t have details on the timing.”
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Road work ahead
— Main Street is restricted between Bonneville Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard through May. Crews are working on a storm drain.
— The D Street onramp to southbound Interstate 15 is closed through mid-July. Crews are working on Project Neon.
— Sections of Bonneville Avenue, Charleston Boulevard, Grand Central Parkway and Martin Luther King Boulevard will have closed or disrupted lanes surrounding the Spaghetti Bowl as crews work on Project Neon through July.
— Ogden Avenue will be restricted between Main Street and City Parkway through mid-October. Crews are making street, sidewalk and lighting improvements.
— The Charleston Boulevard onramps to southbound Interstate 15 are closed until mid-October. Crews are rebuilding the intersection.
— Interstate 15 will be narrowed in both directions between Sahara Avenue and D Street until Nov. 20. Crews are widening the freeway.
— The ramp connecting southbound U.S. Highway 95 to southbound I-15 will be reduced to one lane and detoured through Nov. 20. Crews are widening I-15.
— The ramp linking southbound U.S. 95 to northbound I-15 is closed through Nov. 20. Crews are widening I-15.
— The Martin Luther King Boulevard onramp to southbound U.S. Highway 95 is closed until early 2019. Crews are building a high-occupancy flyover ramp.
— Gass Avenue will be restricted between Las Vegas and Charleston Boulevards through March 2019. Crews are making pedestrians and bicycle improvements.
— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 will be narrowed to a single lane between the 215 Beltway and Durango Drive from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly through June 5. Crews are building a carpool ramp at Elkhorn Road.
— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 are narrowed to a single lane between Skye Canyon Park and Paiute drives through July 12. Crews are building a new interchange bridge.
— Buffalo Drive is restricted between Gowan Road and Cheyenne Avenue through July. Crews are upgrading a gas line.
— Tenaya Way and Torrey Pines Drive are restricted between Gowan and Craig roads through July. Crews are upgrading a gas line.
— Gowan Road is restricted between Buffalo and Torrey Pines drives through July. Crews are upgrading a gas line.
— Craig Road is restricted between Torrey Pines Drive and Decatur Boulevard through July. Crews are upgrading a gas line.
— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 will be narrowed to two lanes at Elkhorn Road through December. Crews are building a new carpool ramp.
— Jones Boulevard will be restricted between Tropicana and University avenues through June 29. Crews are doing sewer work.
— Eastern Avenue is restricted between Flamingo Road and Tompkins Avenue through June 11. Crews are restoring the street.
— Center Street is restricted between Burkholder Boulevard and Lake Mead Parkway through June. Crews are making various road improvements.
North Las Vegas
— U.S. Highway 93 is restricted between Interstate 15 and Apex Power Parkway through June. Crews are widening the highway and upgrading an interchange.
— Nellis Boulevard is restricted between Cheyenne Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays through July. Crews are installing sewer pipes.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $3.19 per gallon. It was $3.20 in Nevada. The national average of $2.80 is up 4 cents from a week ago, up 17 cents from a month ago and up 40 cents from a year ago.