This letter is in support of your editorial and, hopefully, an education for Nevada Department of Transportation management (even though I know the state bureaucracy resists enlightenment.)
I start with the basic presumption that NDOT's primary goal is efficient, safe transportation for citizens and travelers in all of Nevada. "All of Nevada" is important because transportation planning should not focus on one intersection. This position is borne out by a quote of NDOT spokesperson Scott Magruder, in an Appeal article of Aug. 11, where he was presenting NDOT policy on projects, and stated, "...we look at the whole state..." In reference to the Sonoma intersection, I would like to see NDOT look at the whole problem.
Your editorial quotes NDOT as stating the Sonoma intersection will barely meet the requirements for a light. Their attitude, as reflected by this claim, shows that NDOT is unaware of its higher duty: efficient, safe, movement in total.
It is obvious that traffic at Koontz and Clearview at 395 did justify a light. A study would probably show the traffic at these two intersections is two or three times the volume to justify a light. Why is that? I suggest it is because local drivers are well aware of the difficulty of trying to access or cross South Carson from other unsignaled streets.
The wise driver chooses Koontz and Clearview, thus directing too much traffic to those intersections. Anyone who doubts this should go drive those intersections. I believe it can be argued with logic and clarity a signal at Sonoma will diminish congestion at Koontz and Clearview and change drivers' habits to direct more traffic to Sonoma.
I further believe a Sonoma signal and access to Curry Street might just attract new money for business development, jobs, and promote sales tax revenue. These are goals which Carson City has already supported (as evidenced by its proposed contribution for construction costs) but of which NDOT hasn't a clue.
Please forgive the excessive length of this letter, but I am after all, trying to educate a smart NDOT engineer.