Your commute just took a turn

I’m the fourth Road Warrior to pen this column since its inception. And the first woman.

Uh-oh, woman driver, male readers might think. I’m a great driver, especially on a windless day with a straight and wide fairway. Seriously, I can knock the ball 200 yards.

Honestly, I haven’t had a moving traffic violation in nearly two decades, although I’ve had my car booted downtown twice for unpaid parking tickets. But driving around the Las Vegas Valley, you and I are probably irked by the same things.

I’ve had my own questions since I moved here 11 years ago, but never bothered to dig up the answers. Now you will make me.

After covering the Clark County Commission and witnessing meetings during which elected officials lied, cheated and stole from the community, the next beat was federal court. Those same elected officials followed when they were prosecuted. The Erin Kenny days are behind me, unless of course a road is named after her. There’s a thought — name the road leading into the Rhodes Ranch neighborhood Erin Kenny (paved the) Way.

Keep those questions regarding traffic and roads pouring in. Here are a few of my own:

• Why is it an honor for celebrities or public officials to have a road named after them? Take, for example, Bruce Woodbury Beltway. Rarely do you ever hear someone say something like, "Ah, the Bruce Woodbury Beltway, the paved gateway to spectacular views of Red Rock Canyon and the Las Vegas Strip." This is more common: "A pileup on Bruce Woodbury Beltway left three dead during this morning’s commute." Who wants their name attached to death?

• Do folks in Summerlin ever take teens armed with a learner’s permit down Town Center Drive to negotiate those roundabouts? You want your kid to keep an eye on the road at all times, but you have to read those signs or you’ll spend the entire afternoon driving around in circles with no escape in sight. Or if it is in sight, the kid has taken his eyes off the road.

• Why is it that road construction on Interstate 15 has caused nightmarish traffic from Sahara to Tropicana for months, yet when I take that route — day or night — I never see a living soul working on the road? Do you? If the government runs out of money for a road project, can’t it just kick the cones to the shoulder and call it a day?

I’m looking forward to conducting my own experiments, too. For example, rather than just telling you that UNLV suggests you park at some off-site lot and take a shuttle or car pool to a basketball game, I’ll give it a shot and tell you how realistic that proposal is. Personally I’d rather sit in my car and listen to the postgame show or music than stand in a line waiting for a shuttle back to my car, but we’ll see.

I’d also like to take a ride on The Deuce bus that heads downtown on Las Vegas Boulevard. I’ve seen the thing a hundreds times while eating lunch on the courthouse steps. A dozen or so passengers are seated in the open-air, second-level where an Elvis impersonator dressed in a gold jumpsuit belts out tunes. The tour hits Clark Avenue and Elvis is rudely interrupted by the tour guide who announces: "On your left is the federal bankruptcy court." Seriously? This is something we want to promote to our gaming tourists?

A lot of things are up in the air in Las Vegas right now: the economy, tourism numbers, Sen. John Ensign’s political future … . But if one consistency exists, it’s that as a Las Vegas motorist you will encounter traffic, construction and road rage. Let me know what tees you off during your drive.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Adrienne Packer at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@review journal.com. Include your phone number.

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