Pedestrians concerned crosswalk isn't enough


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Pedestrians concerned crosswalk isn't enough

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Nov 26, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Pedestrians said they are in a race against traffic to cross a busy road in the southeast valley and worry it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

With flashing lights and big yellow signs on East Tropicana Avenue, you would think it's obvious that a crosswalk is nearby.

"They're not paying attention to it," said neighbor Christina Evans.

Evans is referring to drivers at the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Morris Street, just east of Nellis Boulevard. Some pedestrians here are literally running for safety.

"I always have to run across. People don't stop," said Evans. "It's not very safe."

Whitney Library, a small shopping plaza and some apartments are at the intersection. Dustin Vodak said he's not taking any chances either.

"I cross when there's no cars or when they stop," Vodak said. "I don't stop in the middle and try and dodge traffic."

Some neighbors told Action News they would like to see a greater police presence at the intersection but officers said resources are limited and they can't be everywhere.

"We kind of get neglected down here a bit so - yeah, definitely more of a presence down in this area," Evans said.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have recorded 14 crashes at the intersection this year, said spokesman Officer Larry Hadfield. None of the crashes included pedestrians. With only so many officers, Hadfield said police generally focus their enforcement campaigns on intersections with the highest crash rates.

According to statistics on Metro's website, 35 pedestrians have died on valley roads in Metro's jurisdiction so far this year.

What about a traffic signal? The Nevada Department of Transportation maintains this section of Tropicana and said it typically reviews nine factors, like crash rates and traffic wait times, to determine if a signal is warranted, said spokesman Damon Hodge. Even then, a signal is not guaranteed.

Hodge said the agency is looking at the intersection for future improvements, possibly including it in a wider project to address a handful of other crosswalks.