Over the past few months, the subject of speed limits on Pahrump Valley Boulevard and Dandelion Street have popped up repeatedly at Nye County Commission meetings.
Both members of the public and elected officials have aired their frustration with the current maximum miles per hour on certain roads surrounding Ian Deutch Memorial Park, as well as the “when children are present” signs which had prompted questions of inappropriate enforcement by sheriff’s deputies.
As the roadways sit today, the speed limit varies depending on which street motorists are traveling on.
When turning south onto Dandelion Street from Highway 160, the speed limit is set at 45 miles per hour until the road approaches the eastern edge of Ian Deutch Memorial Park, where it drops to 25 miles per hour before bumping back up to 45 miles per hour just after the intersection at Honeysuckle Street.
On Pahrump Valley Boulevard, the speed is currently set at 35 miles per hour all the way from Highway 372 to Calvada Boulevard.
Previously, the speed on Pahrump Valley Boulevard had been lowered near the park to 25 miles per hour with a “when children are present” sign but this was changed not long ago, at the request of the commission, following numerous complaints about drivers receiving speeding tickets even though no children were present at the time of their traffic stops.
Honeysuckle Street between Pahrump Valley Boulevard and Dandelion Street, where it fronts Ian Deutch Memorial Park, is set at 15 miles per hour.
Each of these speeds are about to change, however, following a vote by the Nye County Commission to reject a traffic engineering study conducted on the three roads and instead set speed limits the commissioner felt appropriate. All three limits are set to increase some time in the coming weeks following, although Nye County officials were not able to provide a definitive time frame for the change as of deadline.
The traffic engineering study was performed by Charles Abbott Associates and contained recommendations of a 40-mile-per-hour speed limit on Pahrump Valley Boulevard from Highway 372 to Calvada Boulevard, a speed of 45 miles per hour on Dandelion Street from Highway 160 to Calvada Boulevard and a speed of 25 miles per hour on Honeysuckle Street from Pahrump Valley Boulevard to Dandelion Street.
County staff’s recommendation was that if the commission wanted to adopt those recommendations, it should direct staff to bring back a bill to that effect.
Nye County Public Works Director Tim Dahl explained that this would be necessary because there is an ordinance on the books that states that all roads in the town of Pahrump are to be 45 miles per hour, with the exception of certain specifically listed roads and school zones, a list on which the three roads in question were not included.
“There have been some changes since then,” Dahl detailed of the speeds set by the 1971 ordinance. “For example, the 35 mile per hour speed limit on Pahrump Valley Boulevard that was changed from 45 after an accident occurred, at the request of the Board of County Commissioners, yet not done by ordinance. That was direction by the Board of County Commissioners to staff.”
Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo jumped in to assert, “So it wasn’t adopted by ordinance, so technically that was illegal.”
Blundo then motioned to reject the traffic study and instead set the speed limits at 45 miles per hour on both Pahrump Valley Boulevard and Dandelion Street and 25 miles per hour on Honeysuckle Street.
The motion passed with all five commissioners in favor.
Dahl said he will be bringing back a bill to the commission to officially amend the aforementioned ordinance to reflect the new speed limits for the three roads.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at email@example.com