CARSON CITY – The Nevada Department of Transportation is soliciting public feedback to establish formal policies for the installation of roadside memorials on state roads and highways as well as creating secondary highway names to honor Nevada public servants.
Through July 31, Nevadans can visit www.dot.nv.gov/memorials to provide input. The survey is intended to capture feedback of Nevada residents and those who use Nevada highways. Public comment will also be solicited as a draft roadside memorial policy is developed.
Tragically, nearly 315 lives were lost on Nevada roads in 2020. Roadside memorials are sometimes placed by families, friends, and others as a way to remember those whose lives were cut short.
While roadside memorials can bring comfort, they can elicit different emotions for others. Some roadside memorials can also physically obstruct a roadway, create a visual distraction, or otherwise impose a significant traffic safety issue.
Currently, NDOT leaves many of the memorials on the highway roadside, only removing them if they endanger traffic safety by presenting a physical obstruction, visual distraction, or potential of being blown into the highway. Memorials that are removed are temporarily stored at the nearest NDOT maintenance station for pick-up by the owner.
“Every roadside memorial marks a tragedy, and loved ones who will not be coming home,” Nevada Department of Transportation Director Kristina Swallow explained. “Public input will help as we develop policies to best preserve the memory of those lost, while also ensuring safety.”
SECONDARY HIGHWAY NAMES
Additionally, there is currently no formal policy to designate a secondary name for a segment of highway or road in honor of fallen law enforcement officers, elected officials, veterans, and others. Utilizing public feedback, NDOT wants to develop a more uniform process for secondary highway names.
In addition to traffic safety enhancements routinely placed as part of freeway projects, NDOT undertakes safety management plans and other safety initiatives to collaboratively enhance traffic safety.