Sorry, but you just can’t always get what you want

Yes, you can do this. No, you can’t do that. And that road you hate? Get over it. The road you want more of? Nope, not gonna happen.

We’re like toddlers out there, driving the mean Vegas streets, wishing for things we’ll never get and trying to figure out the rules, which sometimes seem so darn complicated.

They giveth and they taketh away, our government minders.

We live with it because we have to. None of us has the resources to finish that road that doesn’t go through or to write laws we like. Not alone, we don’t.

So we get by, and we try to get along. Which, if you’ve ever been in a room full of toddlers, you know isn’t always easy.

Tony wrote in saying he was glad there’s finally a traffic light at Elkhorn Road and Decatur Boulevard. “Now, will they ever finish Elkhorn?”

Probably someday, Tony. But don’t hold your breath.

Elkhorn out that way runs two lanes in each direction for some of it, mostly the western end, but sometimes it’s got only one lane going each way.

The road is partly in the city of Las Vegas, and partly within unincorporated Clark County. There’s lots of undeveloped land out there, too.

But there’s not a whole lot of traffic, a city engineer said. A single lane in each direction is handling it fine right now. The county said they don’t have any plans to change their section of Elkhorn, either.

When development comes, as it surely will some day, it’s likely you’ll get your extra lanes, Tony. But who knows when that’ll be?

Michael complained about Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard.

He isn’t the first.

It’s a mess, he and others said, especially in the afternoon and on weekends. Traffic backs up so much there’s gridlock. It can take a half hour to get through there.

This is the busiest intersection in town, as you probably know. And there’s construction messing up the Strip there right now.

I checked with the Regional Transportation Commission, which handles traffic light timing, and with Clark County, which has jurisdiction over the intersection. Their response was pretty much this: Use a different road.

The county noted that two construction projects are going on. One will be over soon, the other not until next year.

The RTC said they’ve looked at traffic light timing in the area, and there’s not much they can do. Increasing the green light time in one direction will only make traffic back up further in the other direction.

Sorry, Michael. There’s nothing much else to say.

Robert wondered if it’s OK to drive barefoot and shirtless.

Dude, this is totally legal. Like, really.

Sgt. Todd Raybuck with Las Vegas police said the only laws that apply would be decency laws. That means you, ladies: Shirts on, please. (Is this fair? Of course not. But neither is the Taco Bell-Del Taco dilemma: I want a Burrito Supreme and Macho Nachos. Why, world? Why?)

Anyway, feel free to go barefoot all you want, whether you’re a man or a woman. You might want to keep a pair of flip-flops handy, though. Those parking lots can get really hot.

Mary asked a question that would lead me on a rant if I had more room, but I’ll save that for another day.

“Is it illegal to use my smartphone as a GPS in my car? It is hanging from a holder on my rear-view mirror,” she wrote.

As we all know by now, it’s illegal to talk on your cellphone while driving in Nevada, unless you’re using a hands-free device.

Lots of new cars have fancy systems that you can hook your phone right into. That’s cool. Or you can use a bluetooth device and look like a dork with a Star Trek thingy hanging from your ear. That’s safe and legal.

Or, if you have a pretty new phone, you can talk to it. “Maryland Parkway,” you’ll say, and it’ll kindly ask if you’d like to take Interstate 70 or Interstate 80 once you pass through Denver.

But do not touch that phone, no matter what, even to smack Siri. It’s illegal to lay a finger on your phone while you’re in the driver’s seat.

So, can you use your phone as a GPS device?

“As long as you don’t have to manipulate it with your hand,” said Raybuck, the police sergeant.

Good luck with that, Mary. And pick me up a bucket of blue crabs, if you don’t mind.

Got a transportation question, comment or gripe? Ship it off to roadwarrior Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter @RJroadwarrior

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