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Project on Eastern aims to simplify signal coordination

This week, readers want to know what is happening on Eastern Avenue in the south valley, and is cutting through traffic to make a left turn really a citable offense?

Lolli Gore asks: What is being done on Eastern, north of Serene Avenue? And why?

Clark County is about halfway through a $2.5 million project to install fiber-optic communications on Eastern, from Flamingo Road to Serene, public works spokesman Bobby Shelton said.

The project, which began in November, involves installing a 72-strand fiber-optic cable for an interconnect system along the 61/2-mile stretch of Eastern.

The project "allows for timing changes without having to physically send someone out to make changes" to the traffic signals, Shelton said.

This will allow the folks who manage traffic signal coordination as part of the valley’s Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation, or FAST, to change signals to free up any congestion on Eastern and adjacent roads.

As part of the project, parts of the road have been dug up — called "pot hole access points" — to install the cable.

Weather permitting, the project is expected to finish in June, Shelton said.

A reader asks: I got a ticket the other day and want to know if what I did was illegal. I was waiting to make a right turn onto Spring Mountain Road from a Wal-Mart shopping center. Traffic was backed up due to a red light, and a courteous driver allowed me to enter the road. I worked my way to the left-turning lane. A police officer pulled me over and ticketed me because I cut through lanes without having the right of way.

Under Nevada Revised Statute 484.305, you committed a violation.

That law states, "If a highway has two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic traveling in one direction, vehicles must: (b) Not be moved from that lane until the driver has given the appropriate turn signal and ascertained that such movement can be made with safety."

The key, at least from what I have come to understand from law enforcement’s point of view, is "that such movement can be made with safety."

Your situation is a common one in the valley. And an unsafe one.

A driver will creep out of a parking lot and attempt to cross multiple lanes of traffic, either to make a left-hand turn or to get into the left- hand lane.

Usually, the driver is aided by a motorist in the right- hand lane who lets him pass in front.

But what about the next lane? Can the driver leaving the parking lot see approaching motorists? Can approaching motorists see the driver?

Unfortunately, this often leads to crashes.

Law enforcement officers have nicknamed these wrecks "good Samaritan crashes" because they often are the result of a driver in the right lane being nice to the driver leaving the parking lot.

There has been a concerted effort by the Metropolitan Police Department to give out citations for this violation to try to prevent these wrecks.

So the next time you’re leaving a parking lot and must cross multiple lanes amidst heavy traffic to turn left or get into the left lane, don’t do it.

Instead, take an extra couple of minutes and go one or two blocks out of your way.

You’ll avoid a ticket and a "good Samaritan crash."

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Francis McCabe at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number.

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