Officials respond to Lee residents

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By David Giuliani

The city has been going in circles recently when it comes to Lee Drive.

Last week, however, the Las Vegas City Council arrived at a decision about the controversial roundabout at Lee and Kierig Street: Keep it.

The city built the roundabout and approaching medians last year in response to residents’ complaints about speeding in their neighborhood.

Lee sees more traffic than many residential streets because it’s a quick connection between Seventh and Eighth streets. And it’s been a much smoother ride than nearby Legion Drive, which was riddled with speed bumps until recent improvements.

City officials believed that the roundabout was a way to slow down traffic on Lee. But some complained that it was hard for buses and bigger vehicles to maneuver around the roundabout. And a sea of 22 signs at the intersection was considered an eyesore for the neighborhood.

At a council meeting earlier this month, a few residents from Lee Drive encouraged the city to eliminate the roundabout altogether. But council members agreed that they should seek the input of all Lee residents before making a decision.

Councilwoman Diane Moore and Mercy Lopez, the city’s spokeswoman, went door to door on Lee Drive to inform them about a public hearing on the matter. At the hearing, nearly all residents reportedly agreed that the city should keep the roundabout but do away with the approaching medians. And residents went along with the idea of eliminating nearly all the signs, except for the directional ones.

Last week, the council unanimously voted in favor of the residents’ desires.

Carlos Ortiz, the city’s public works director, said the city could get rid of the medians in a week and a half.