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The Ins and Outs of McCarran

Perhaps it is because the Thanksgiving weekend is coming up, a busy time of year for McCarran International Airport, but quite a few readers and callers have questions regarding McCarran this week.

C. Stockwell’s beef is this: The arrows directing traffic into McCarran are so faded they are almost non-existent. You can’t even see them at night. When are they going to repaint those arrows? The lanes are bad enough but the arrows are of little help if any nowadays.

It looks as though the airport is doing away with those arrows all together Mr. Stockwell. These arrows are not actually painted on the roadway but are shaped, colored materials embedded in the asphalt. The airport looked into replacing them but found that the manufacturer no longer made them in different colors, airport spokesman Chris Jones said.

Part of the airport’s rebuilding and repaving roads in preparation for the opening of Terminal 3 includes removing those arrows and installing new overhead road signs that will guide motorists.

Paul asks: Who can we thank for deciding to make road repairs in the McCarran airport vicinity when we are about to enter into the busiest holiday travel season?

That would be McCarran officials themselves, Paul. In large construction projects many things require integration, and you’re not always given the opportunity to hold up certain elements to meet any one group’s particular needs, Jones said. Doing so would prolong the project, drive up costs, and create other undesirable consequences, he said, adding that with Terminal 3’s opening in mid-2012, the work must be done now.

“These roadways are extremely busy year-round,” Jones said, “so there is no ideal time to disrupt a major arterial without causing some inconvenience. If the cones weren’t upsetting some people over the holidays, they’d be disrupting someone else’s spring break or summer vacation.”

Readers are also curious about what looks to be new machinery going in at the garage. The question: What is it?

The airport is not doing away with the manned pay booths but will be adding a “pay-on-foot option” at the garage.The way this works is you grab a ticket on the way into the garage and before you exit, stick it one of the machines inside the garage with a credit card. The machine validates the ticket so when you leave the garage, you stick it in another machine at the gate and you are free to go. The infrastructure is being installed now, but the new pay stations will not be available until early next year.

Now exiting McCarran, here’s Bill in Sun City: Is it illegal to drive with the blue handicap placard hanging from the rearview mirror?

According to Tom Jacobs of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, there is nothing in the Nevada Revised Statutes that prohibit driving with the placard attached to the rearview mirror. However, the placard itself says, “IMPORTANT: REMOVE BEFORE DRIVING VEHICLE.”

Just as a side note, a few weeks ago Don asked when the drainage improvement project on Oakey Boulevard would be finished and the answer was Dec. 31. Here’s an update on that, Don: Now the city of Las Vegas is saying the project will be completed in mid-January.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call the Road Warrior at 387-2904, or e-mail her at roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com or apacker@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number.

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