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April 18, 2014

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Riders worry for their safety at Las Vegas bus stops

Image

Steve Marcus

A view of car that car crashed into a bus stop on Spring Mountain Road east of Decatur Boulevard, killing four people, on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012.

Bus Stop Crash Memorial

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Fatal Bus Stop Accident

Metro Police investigate after a car crashed into a bus stop on Spring Mountain Road east of Decatur Boulevard, killing four people, on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Anthony Morse sat waiting for a bus Thursday afternoon, his mind focused on the four people who died earlier in the day after a car driven by a suspected drunken driver slammed into a bus stop.

"See that bus stop across the street? I call those death traps," said Morse, 46, pointing to a bus stop on the westbound side on West Flamingo Road near Arville Street.

Like most of Las Vegas' bus stops, the bench sat only steps from the curb. Cars whizzed down the street, at speeds that appeared to exceed the 45 mph limit. Behind the people waiting for the bus sat a brick wall that blocked the street from a neighborhood.

"If something happens, what are they going to do?" Morse asked. "They're stuck. They don't have time to go over that wall."

The space in front of the Palms where Morse and others were waiting for a bus was much wider, about double the size.

"If I didn't have this much room, I'd be standing right back there," Morse said, walking behind the bus stop. "This is where I would feel more safe if we were closer to the street."

A woman waiting for the same bus suggested the city should install concrete crash barriers to help protect people.

Several riders said they felt even more at risk in Las Vegas, compared with other cities, because alcohol is so easy to obtain here.

"You never know where people are going or where they've been in this town," said George Johnson, 32, as he waited for a bus on West Tropicana Avenue near South Dean Martin Drive.

Greg King waits for the bus on Flamingo Road near Decatur on Thursday, Sept 13, 2012, the same day that a car crashed into a bus stop, killing four and injuring eight others.

Greg King waits for the bus on Flamingo Road near Decatur on Thursday, Sept 13, 2012, the same day that a car crashed into a bus stop, killing four and injuring eight others.

Rider Greg King tries to stay safe by waiting for buses on street corners where he can stand back from the curb. He said he began doing that after he witnessed a crash in July 2008 at Flamingo and Boulder Highway in which a woman died and a teenage girl lost her leg.

"Usually, I wouldn't stand here," said King, 46, as he stood under a bus stop on West Flamingo Road near South Decatur Boulevard. "But sometimes you've just got to get out of the sun."

Several passengers wondered how many people would have to die before the city takes action.

Shanell Martinez, 23, said two of her friends from high school were among the four people killed in March 2005 while they waited at a bus stop at Smoke Ranch and Rock Springs roads.

"I had been waiting for them at school," Martinez said from the bus stop on Flamingo, near Decatur. "When I heard about what happened this morning, that day came rushing back. You see cars speed up right where you're standing. It's like everyone here drives like a maniac."

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  1. Chunky says:

    He thinks he remembers another fatality at a bus stop on Spring Mountain in the past year or so; maybe a drunk teacher driving or something.

    There have been enough bus stop crashes at this point that there should be some form of safety barricade for them. Though few barricades could withstand the impact of a multi-thousand pound car traveling at 100 mph. The debris alone would be deadly.

    Apparently our streets, sidewalks and private property easements were not designed with bus stops in mind.

    The loss of life has certainly outweighed the benefit of buses along certain routes.

    That's what Chunky thinks!