LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - UPDATE APRIL 26: The City of Las Vegas has the following update:
The current phasing is what was recommended by NDOT and city of Las Vegas traffic engineers concur. The city of Las Vegas Traffic Engineer reports that while construction continues on Project Neon, we routinely observe the traffic impacts in the area and we are doing our best to minimize delays to drivers. Other phasing options are under consideration, but the current signal phase pattern at Industrial at North Bridge and South Bridge is the one that seems to work best right now.
The close proximity of the North bridge and South bridge intersections, narrow pinch points, and limited options to access westbound Sahara only add to the challenge. We have to consider everyone’s needs and all movements, and then make the best decisions we can. We understand the driver wants the southbound and northbound to run concurrently. However, that would require an exclusive southbound left-turn lane and an exclusive southbound thru-lane (not currently available). Under the currently available lanes, concurrent southbound and northbound flows would cause more back up and additional delays overall.
UPDATE APRIL 25: The Nevada Department of Transportation has studied the traffic light timing at the intersection of Industrial near Sahara and managers.
Traffic managers say the light timing and sequence needs to remain for safety reasons.
NDOT reviewed the operations at the intersection, and subsequently made recommendations to the City of Las Vegas to maintain the current timing phasing based upon an increase of southbound left-turns (200%-300%). Significant northbound delay/congestion was not observed; as such, reverting the signal back could create a safety issue.
ORIGINAL STORY: A Las Vegas wedding chapel limo driver says traffic is so bad because of a light timing issue near the strip it is making some couples late for their big day.
Steve Sarsfield has been driving for the Graceland Chapel for the past few years.
“It is the best job in the world because I just meet happy people all day long," said Sarsfield.
Sarsfield says his day involves taking soon-to-be newly weds from their hotels on the strip to the wedding chapel near Las Vegas Boulevard and Charleston. His route takes him along Industrial Road between Circus Circus Drive and Wyoming Avenue.
“We have a half an hour window to pick up from any hotel and get them back here," said Sarsfield. That light [at Sahara and Industrial] is adding 10 minutes to every ride," added Sarsfield.
Nevada Department of Transportation officials confirm the traffic light's timing was changed recently to accommodate Project NEON detours.
Specifically, the southbound direction was changed from a permissive left turn to a protected left turn; however there are still only two lanes for southbound traffic. Because of this, the Industrial/ North bridge intersection has to be set to split in the north and southbound phases.
The resulting change, Sarsfield says, is a traffic back up that stretches more than a mile in either direction on Industrial at the Sahara bridge.
“I've called the city and I called the department transportation and nothing seems to work," said Sarsfield.
Contact 13 reached out the Nevada Department of Transportation and a spokesperson says changing the light sequence and timing is not as simple as flipping a switch. Traffic flow and patterns are part of an ecosystem and minor changes can have larger, unintended consequences.
Traffic managers are working with the City of Las Vegas and expect to make "real-time" traffic adjustments as necessary to get traffic moving more smoothly in the area.