Las Vegas Sun

May 7, 2015

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Coming to a freeway near you: meters to help manage merging traffic

Freeway ramp meters regulating the flow of traffic will be activated on Interstate 515 and southbound Interstate 15 on Thursday.

The Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation meters operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and the Nevada Department of Transportation are designed to manage traffic merging onto freeways. Meters already are in place on portions of I-15, I-515 and U.S. 95.

A ramp meter on northbound I-515 at Charleston Boulevard will operate during rush-hour commute periods from 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. Other meters on I-515 and southbound I-15 will be activated during heavy periods of traffic congestion.

The meters typically stop vehicles with red-light traffic signals on merging lanes and allow one car to pass per green light every three to four seconds.

The two agencies’ FAST system includes ramp meters, dynamic message signs and 240 cameras to control the flow of traffic. The system also coordinates traffic signals on local streets. Live streaming video of freeway choke points is available at the RTC website and NDOT’s site.

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  1. You have to understand that the RTC is one of the most disfunctional among many disfunctional agency's Clark County has to offer. It constantly screws up as a way of growing the bureaucracy within so as to be able to squeeze more money out of a frustrated populace who seem blind to its arrogance and mismanagement. No matter where you live in populated parts of Clark County, you will have to put up with traffic cones for God only knows how long as little or no work is ever being done and the roadway is so bad it rattles your teeth to drive over it. As for synchronizing the traffic signals, forget-about-it! They seem incapable even in areas where the signals are less than a block apart. Take Valley View Blvd southbound from Washington past the Meadows mall, for instance. You'll sit at the red light at Bonanza while the southbound signal at the westbound 95 off-ramp (about a couple of hundred feet away) is green, goes to red, back to green and, finally, when the Bonanza light finally turns gree, back to red. So here you sit again, idling away that costly fuel and polluting the air. Then you just may get the red signal at the eastbound 95 off-ramp. Then, again, at the exit from Meadows. And, finally at Meadows Lane, itself. I have to wonder who exactly is charge of the mopes working for the RTC and why they haven't been fired long ago? It's a disgrace!