Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2019

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Improvements considered for hazardous span of Lamb Boulevard in east valley

Two Students Injured in Bus Accident

Steve Marcus

A view of a Ford Taurus sedan after an accident with a a Clark County School District bus on East Sahara Avenue near Lamb Boulevard Monday, April 3, 2017.

A 4.5-mile portion of Lamb Boulevard is set for improvements after a study by the Nevada Department of Transportation revealed the area had a crash rate 15 percent higher than the state average.

From 2011-2016, there were 1,286 crashes on Lamb Boulevard between Desert Inn Road and Lake Mead Boulevard, NDOT revealed Tuesday at a community safety management plan meeting at the Walnut Community Center. That stretch of roadway is in both the city of Las Vegas and Clark County jurisdictions.

“Lamb Boulevard has seen increased traffic from additional motorists, residents and commercial trucks,” NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said. “The roadway has transformed over time from a lightly traveled rural road into a densely developed urban corridor, with homes, schools and businesses.”

During that time period, there were six fatal crashes, 25 serious-injury crashes, 31 crashes involving motorcycles, 25 crashes involving pedestrians, 16 bicycle crashes and 12 bus crashes. The area near the intersection of Lamb and Charleston boulevards was particularly prone to crashes.

Several factors contributed to the high rate along the stretch:

• Vehicles exceeding the speed limit

• 10 of the 17 intersections performing below level-of-service standards

• Sight-distance issues caused by residential walls at cross streets

• Infrastructure issues including narrow sidewalks with obstructions and no bicycle lanes.

The study suggests four alternatives to improve the situation:

Alternative 1, $34 million: Narrow lanes to reduce speed; raise the center median and make it 14-16-feet wide; widen the sidewalk from 5 feet to 8-10 feet; and reconstruct the road.

Alternative 2, $14 million: Narrow lanes to reduce speed; raise the center median with it being 13 feet long; bike lanes with a 3-foot buffer; maintain the existing 5-foot-wide sidewalk.

Alternative 3, $10 million: Narrow lanes to reduce speed; raise the center median and widen it to 20-26-feet; and maintain the existing 5-foot-wide sidewalk.

Alternative 4, $15 million: Narrow lanes to reduce speed; raise the center median and widen it to 14-20-feet; install a 3-foot compacted pedestrian buffer with concrete around pole obstructions.

The study is a first step toward identifying safety problems and proposing solutions, Illia said.

“Ultimately, funding will be the key to when and how proposed improvements can be realized,” he said. “State funds could see upgrades occur within two to five years. However, roadway enhancements may occur much sooner if the city and county contribute funding.”

Some short-term solutions include a potential pedestrian crossing at Colorado Avenue, an improved crossing at Monroe Avenue, upgraded bus stop amenities, driveway removals and consolidation, traffic signal optimization and ADA upgrades to current standards.

“An excess of driveways increases the possibilities of a crash due to the high volume of entering and exiting vehicles along the mainline roadway at varying speeds, thereby disrupting the traffic flow and introducing new hazards,” Illia said.

To comment on proposed solutions, email Lori Campbell, NDOT traffic safety engineer at [email protected] through on 5 p.m. Dec. 15.