Pedestrian deaths along Boulder Highway this year have already passed 2016’s total. While fault is a case by case basis, it doesn’t change the risks along that stretch of road, according to transportation officials.
Twenty-three pedestrians have died along various portions of boulder highway over the past three years. One location at Nellis and Boulder has popped up once each year.
The recent death of a woman in a wheelchair at a crosswalks had 8 News Now looking for answers.
Boulder Highway is a nearly a 17-mile stretch of roadway that goes through Las Vegas, Clark County and the City of Henderson maintained by the state. The transportation route has become a hot spot for pedestrian deaths.
The Nevada Department of Transportation says that’s in part because of the corridor evolution over the years.
“When it was originally built, nothing was out there, but over time, you get housing, casinos, shops, restaurants and schools and all of a sudden there’s more pedestrian traffic,” NDOT Spokesperson Tony Illia said.
When asked specifically about the crosswalk safety at Boulder and Nellis, Director of Fast Brian Hoeft says the crosswalk signal timing plans are federally regulated and the government has a formula to give pedestrians enough time to use a crosswalk that’s 3.5 feet per second.
“Allows 44 seconds of total clearance for a pedestrian to walk from the curb to the median,” Hoeft said. “Due to the width of this intersection, the timing is meant to take two cycles to get a pedestrian completely across Boulder Highway.”
Hoeft has been asked about people needing to break up the crosswalk into “two cycles” and not something pedestrians around the area knows about.
Nearly a three million dollar improvement project is starting this fall looking to improve pedestrian safety on the highway. N.D.O.T. says it’s concentrated on eight different locations.
“Improved medians to mid-block crossings. Often pedestrians won’t want to walk all the way down to a crosswalk so they’ll jaywalk,” Illia said. We just want to reinforce the idea that safety is a shared concept between drivers and pedestrians.”
The improvement project should take around a year to complete.