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Never the Twain shall meet

This week readers want to know why Twain Avenue stops near Buffalo Drive, what can be done about parents who double- and triple-park near schools, and the latest news in the personalized plates debate.

Gerald O’Neal asks: We moved here 14 years ago and have not seen the completion of approximately a 300-foot section of Twain Avenue between Buffalo Drive and Tenaya Way. Completing this would finish the roadway between the Las Vegas Strip and the Las Vegas Beltway. This would help relieve traffic congestion in the area. Has some local political individual prevented this road being finished or is there a reason it is not being done?

Gerald, you’re partly right. Back in 2001, when the Clark County School District decided to build Spring Valley High School at Buffalo and Twain, there was quite an uproar from the community. And residents weren’t shouting, "Hurray for us! We’re getting a high school!"

Instead, they argued building the school would cause traffic problems and hurt property values.

Residents lost the big battle, but won a parting gift.

Some residents asked the Clark County Commission to keep Twain from being connected in order to lower traffic congestion, said Bobby Shelton, spokesman for the county’s department of public works.

The commission relented, even though the public works department wanted the road to go through, Shelton said.

So Twain Avenue is blocked by a piece of desert about 70 paces across and guarded by concrete barriers between Tenaya and Buffalo.

It would require action by the commission before public works would look at extending Twain, Shelton said.

Marvin asks: When are police going to stop parents from double- and triple-parking while picking up their kids from school after classes end?

If you thought stopping illegal drugs from entering the country would be tough, try controlling traffic around a school.

This primarily is seen at elementary schools, said Lt. Ken Young of the Clark County School District Police.

The problem for police is that most schools in the valley are not set up to handle as much traffic as they do.

Elementary schools that should have a student population of 700, instead have 1,000 whippersnappers running around, Young said.

Some schools have set up systems in which students are walked out to their parents, who wait in a designated pickup area, Young said. This helps move traffic along at a decent pace, he said.

School police do confront the illegal parking sect, Young said. Some are warned and others are cited. Citations are given to the most egregious offenders. Those are the parents talking on cell phones and encouraging their children to jaywalk, Young said.

But the police can’t get everyone and even if they did, those parents would be back the next day. So what’s the solution?

"I wish I had the answer," Young said.

Hit ‘n’ Run: I received a lot of feedback from readers of Sunday’s column on personalized plates. But the most interesting e-mail came from Tom Jacobs, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

The rumblings of Stacy "XSTACY" Moore and Dara "CANE" Goldsmith, who were ordered to turn in their plates because DMV officials believed the plates referenced drugs, have caused the department to make some changes.

The committee that reviews whether a personalized plate is offensive will no longer be made up of only DMV employees. In an effort to diversify the committee, the five members will include a representative from the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs, the Nevada Highway Patrol, a DMV employee from Las Vegas and Jacobs.

If you read Sunday’s column, you will remember that I referenced the DMV’s Web site — https://dmvapp.state.nv.us/PlateAV/PlateAV_Input.aspx

There, folks can search for the availability of personalized plates. The database is made up of two lists: those that are currently being used, and plates deemed to be offensive.

If your suggestion isn’t ruled out by either list, then you will see an image of it on the Web site. For instance, a certain barnyard term for feces will not come up on the screen, but "POO POO" will.

Typing in suggestions was the most fun I had researching Sunday’s column. Actually, it was the most fun I’ve had since I shaved off my roommate’s left eyebrow in college.

One of my colleagues, far more well-versed in politically incorrect words, was surprised at what plates were available. "That’s horrible," he said after one suggestion was accepted.

However, just because it is allowed by the Web site doesn’t mean you will gain the approval of the DMV during the application process.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2904.

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