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North Las Vegas wants better parking areas for truckers

Updated June 4, 2018 - 6:48 am

As North Las Vegas evolves into a hub of massive distribution centers aimed at jump-starting the city’s fragile economy, Mayor John Lee wants to make sure truck deliveries show up on time and have a place to park.

Amazon and Sephora announced plans over the past two months to move into warehouses at an industrial park under construction near Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Lee said deals are being negotiated with other high-profile companies.

However, Lee is already noticing that nearby truck stops tend to fill up quickly, prompting drivers to illegally park their big rigs just off Interstate 15 or meander into nearby residential neighborhoods.

“We need to find a place for these big trucks to go while they are waiting their turn to drop off a delivery,” Lee said, “Sometimes they end up in places where they shouldn’t be, and we need to figure out these challenges before they become too big.”

Lee is working with the Nevada Truckers Association, the Nevada Highway Patrol and the North Las Vegas Police Department to craft a plan aimed at finding a designated waiting area for those big rigs.

A couple of proposals are under consideration. One idea calls for working with new and existing warehouse operators to ensure there are enough bays for their own trucks, but to set aside some space for trucks bound for a nearby facility with limited parking spaces.

Another calls for purchasing some land from the federal Bureau of Land Management located near the Speedway, then building a massive lot to provide free parking for truckers.

“I believe the area on Interstate 15 between Cheyenne Avenue and the 215 Beltway will one day be as busy as what you’re seeing now between Sahara Avenue and Charleston Boulevard,” Lee said. “If you don’t get in front of growth issues now, then you will lose an opportunity.”

Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, said that his members have a tough time finding a place to park and have to wait for spaces to open up at warehouses across the Las Vegas Valley.

About 92 percent of the freight moving through Nevada is hauled by truck, accounting for 69,196 tons daily, Enos said. That number is expected to exponentially increase, he said, as additional warehouses spring up across North Las Vegas.

“Truck parking conditions are tough all over the country, so finding a place to park is every trucker’s nightmare,” Enos said. “I think we’re going to see some movement on this issue soon in North Las Vegas, because no one wants our truckers to get in trouble.”

Curbing a right turn

Jeffrey from Las Vegas wanted to know why there was an abutment that prohibits drivers headed east on Charleston Boulevard from turning right onto Burnham Avenue in the east valley.

“If I have to make a turn, then I have to stop in the right lane instead of the turn lane that used to be there a year ago, impeding the traffic behind me,” Jeffrey said in an email to the Road Warrior.

What you thought was a right-turn lane was actually a shoulder that drivers had previously used for making illegal right turns, said Tony Illia, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Before the improvement project on Charleston, buses had used the lane only for passenger loading and unloading but never for transit, Illia said.

NDOT built curb extensions at this intersection as a way to deter drivers from illegally using the shoulder to make a right turn.

“It simultaneously provides additional pedestrian safety by shortening the crossing distance, slowing turning vehicles and visually narrowing the roadway,” Illia said. “Studies show that curb extensions also increase pedestrian visibility at intersections through improved sight lines.”

Bicycle lanes on the way

Arnold from Summerlin wanted to know why there aren’t any bicycle lanes on West Lake Mead Boulevard, between Anasazi Drive and Rampart Boulevard.

“There are bike lanes on West Lake Mead, but there’s a gap between these points,” Arnold said.

There are bicycle lanes on part of this stretch of West Lake Mead, between Rampart and Hills Center Drive, Las Vegas city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said. The segment between Hills Center and Anasazi will get bicycle lanes by early next year after a road improvement project.

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

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