Construction work on Koval Lane on the long straight from turn 4 to 5 on the 3.8 mile circuit 50 lap course Formula One 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix Street Circuit race taking place on November 18 2023 on August 1, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

F1 Formula One Race Is Pissing Off Pedestrians, Drivers in Las Vegas

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The Formula One Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas later this week. From November 16–18, this portion of the Formula One World Championship will dominate main roads along the Strip—Vegas’ big hotel/casino area—which has been major cause for concern among locals.

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The race’s circuit will span a combination of city streets and temporary track, and construction for the event has not gone smoothly. The areas under construction have blocked access to main roads, bus stops, and crucial routes for employees working on the Strip to get to work. Construction began over a month ago, and shaky plans were promised to residents that a shuttle system would be available to transport them to and from their jobs—helpful, but not a cure-all for the other issues stemming from the project.

Main walkways along the Strip previously had shade cover from trees, keeping pedestrians out of the scorching Las Vegas sun. The need to install temporary grandstands for the Prix, however, called for their removal. This decision may not have been so bad had there been a plan to replant the trees elsewhere, but the poor soil conditions in the Nevada desert eliminated that as an option. Besides the inconvenience to locals and tourists walking the Strip, the trees’ removal actually poses an ecological dilemma. Las Vegas is a small urban oasis in the desert, so the addition of trees helped to offset heat, help stem flooding, and reduce pollution within the city.

Further, some speculate that the construction itself is rushed and will not be completed satisfactorily before the race. For residents and tourists concerned about iffy safety measures, the solution would seemingly be to view the race from one of the several pedestrian walkways over the racetrack. Unfortunately, measures have been taken to prevent anyone without a ticket from seeing the race. Barriers with opaque film have been installed along any walkway, stairway, or escalator where non-ticketed viewers might catch a glimpse of the action. This has caused some outrage as well, especially considering that the project has been funded largely by tax dollars.

The Prix itself will need to bring in over $1 billion in order to break even on construction costs, which seems like a lofty goal. The race will certainly benefit hotels and casinos along the strip, but so far has only served to inconvenience workers trying to make it to work on time.

Roads that have been all or partially blocked by construction include Koval Lane, Flamingo Road, Harmon Avenue, and Sands Avenue.

(via TikTok, featured image: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)


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