Incline Village roundabout entrance taken down to one lane |

Incline Village roundabout entrance taken down to one lane

Eastbound vehicles approach the roundabout in one lane of traffic on Wednesday morning.
Margaret Moran / North Lake Tahoe Bonanza |

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — With an eye toward slowing fast-moving vehicles, state crews this week reduced eastbound Highway 28 from two lanes to one as motorists approach the Incline Village Gateway Roundabout.

Since the roundabout opened in 2012, two lanes have existed when entering from the Crystal Bay side of the road — left-lane users turn left inside the circle onto Highway 431 toward Reno, while right-hand users continue straight into Incline Village.

On Tuesday, Nevada Department of Transportation crews erected temporary pavement markings to funnel traffic into a single lane; motorists still may turn left or go straight.

The speed limit on eastbound Highway 28 leading up to the roundabout is 45 mph; inside the circle, an advisory speed limit of 15 mph is in effect, said NDOT spokeswoman Meg Ragonese.

When two lanes exist in this scenario, human nature is to drive faster than the advised speed, she said, especially for those continuing straight — which can be dangerous because both lanes still must yield to the one lane of traffic in the circle.

“… We continue to see signs of speeding or unsafe merging into the roundabout,” NDOT District Engineer Thor Dyson said in a statement. “Traffic safety and mobility are our top priorities. For safety, the reduced lanes will be tested as a way to slow speeds and help keep drivers in the roundabout safe and mobile.”

Officials will monitor traffic at the roundabout likely until after Labor Day weekend. If it’s deemed effective, the one-lane change would become permanent.

While statistics for 2015 are incomplete, Ragonese said two injury crashes have occurred at the traffic circle across 2013 and 2014, a statistic that doesn’t account for fender benders or other accidents.

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