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Nevada’s Figure-8 Roundabout Is Being Removed After Too Many Crashes

Figure eights are meant for the ice, not the roads.
Nevada's peanut-shaped intersection.
Google Maps

Las Vegas is known for many things: the Strip, sweltering heat, sports(books), neverending construction, manhole covers… Really, what’s not to love? Well, apparently, figure-eight roundabouts are the last straw.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, one such intersection in neighboring Henderson has seen 95 crashes since being installed in 2018. Ninety. Five. And that includes 13 crashes through May 15 of this year. As a former Clark County resident and frequent return visitor (hi, fam), I am familiar with this wonky roundabout in the Inspirada neighborhood. 

First of all, it’s in the boonies. The area traffic is generally just residents in the not-yet-overcrowded subdivisions, Raiders employees, and hikers headed to Sloan Canyon (that would be me). But if Hendo city data is accurate, the Via Inspirada-Bicentennial Parkway intersection averages a crash and a half per month. What are y’all doing?

OK, to be fair, it is stupid. The adjacent strip mall doesn’t help either. I don’t remember how many times I had to circle the damned thing just to get to the Jack in the Box. Go ahead. Judge me. My body is a temple of two-for-99-cents tacos.

Anyway, there is no shortage of roundabouts and traffic circles in Southern Nevada, but the figure-eight configuration is a rare one. From a satellite view, the traffic pattern appears straightforward. From the road, it’s anything but. 

Both Bicentennial Parkway and Via Inspirada are divided roadways. However, when approaching the double roundabout, the Via Inspirada medians become much wider. To those unfamiliar with the area, the expanse creates an impression that either side of the roadway is multi-directional rather than one-way. I can see how drivers can mistakenly turn into oncoming traffic. 

A city spokesperson said the roundabout made sense at the time. This, of course, was a time before the Raiders, before the Costco, before KB Home, Lennar, and Pulte built on every piece of empty desert they could buy. And now Station Casinos is moving in.

Due to the increased traffic (and crashes), Henderson will remove the figure-eight design and replace it with traffic signals—but in a very Vegas way. Expected to cost up to $8.2 million, the planned road project will also add new road markings, pavement, sidewalks, trails, and LED lighting. 

Its removal is slated to begin in November. But before then, residents and visitors alike can expect to see a super bloom of another local icon: the Nevada state flower, a.k.a. the orange traffic cone.