South McCarran Residents Say Street Project Has Left Them Less Safe

RENO, NV - Trees line much of South McCarran Boulevard between Rock and Longley Lane, giving the homes to the west a visual barrier from the busy traffic.

But some were removed recently to make room for a right turn lane onto Mira Loma.

The Regional Transportation Commission says it was a matter of safety.

"Looking at the amount of traffic and speed, the trees are actually in what we call a 'clear zone,'' says Project Manager Brenda Lee, "meaning a hazard for the traveling public."

But some residents here fear the removal has made them less safe and they point to a recent accident in which a truck crossed the median and plowed through a backyard fence.

No one was hurt. The police report indicates the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

It could have happened along any busy street in the community and to be fair, the trees were never intended to be a safety barrier and if the they had still been there it's unclear if they would have stopped or slowed the vehicle.

No one here would go on camera with us today, but some homeowners say the RTC should have placed a barrier along the street to keep this from happening.

In fact the RTC says they will eventually get a barrier. It will be designed to keep traffic noise from the neighborhood, but it's likely it would stop an out-of-control vehicle as well.

The wall, however, is part of Phase Two of the project.

"We're really looking at early next year," says Lee. "We will advertise the contract and get it going."

Construction of the sound barrier involves some 200 property owners, and arrangements take time.

Meanwhile, those with backyards facing a short section of South McCarran will see and hear more of the traffic beyond their fences and, like others living along busy thoroughfares, hope the vehicles creating it will stay on their side.


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