By 17 I’m assuming you mean Sunset? And yes, dear lord, as fun as that track is to race in the Dallara on iRacing, it’d be a death trap in real life. Turn 1 would also be pretty dangerous as it’s terribly fast with little run off at the end of the corner (along with it’s own share of bumps).
I don’t think they’re afraid of Laguna due to Rodriguez because his death was in ’99 and they raced there until ’04. I suspect it’s a money issue more likely. If they can just get the series back on their feet financially, I absolutely see them returning, because it was definitely one of the most popular circuits on the calendar.
Unfortunately, for the rovals idea, most of those are very tight and twisty, which does not lend itself well to competitive racing in Indy Cars. I know I was reading recently and there were some changes done a few years ago to Daytona’s infield to perhaps make it possible to race them there, but I can’t see that happening soon. If it does, though, I am TERRIBLY intrigued to see how it plays out.