Stoplight decision should be based on science | NevadaAppeal.com

Stoplight decision should be based on science

We were interested to hear the Nevada Department of Transportation traffic study revealed that the intersection at Stephanie Way and Highway 395 qualifies for a traffic signal.

State officials are to be credited for taking into account left turns from Highway 395 onto Stephanie Way, something they are not required to do under national highway requirements.

But seeing as the fatal accident that sparked a movement to install a light at the intersection was a left turn, we agree with the state that it should have been included.

A traffic signal at Stephanie Way could be an option, but a decision hasn’t been made yet whether a signal will be installed.

Now that the engineering is done, residents can make their desires known.

NDOT’s earlier stand saying the intersection did not meet warrants left folks feeling that they were running up against a bureaucratic bulwark. And that’s not the department’s job.

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Decisions here are fraught with problems.

The state should always be listening to the residents they serve, but the danger comes from the state reacting with emotion and following public sentiment in an effort to stay out of the public hot seat.

We’re not saying this is what happened here. We are just saying reacting on emotion alone without backing that up with science or at least common sense does not make for good transportation planning.

Can NDOT make a case for a light at Stephanie Way based on the above?

The state is seeking information from residents, and will share its findings at a workshop from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at Carson Valley Middle School.

We’re betting the folks who want a light are going to be there with bells on. That they gathered more than 5,000 signatures on their petition for a light, indicates there is a real groundswell of support for one.

We hope everyone’s voice will be heard on this issue, and that whatever changes are or are not made to the intersection are the result of a reasoned debate and solid planning practices.