Road Diets. February 3, , 5am PST. Highways have been razed, replaced with boulevards, and streets have been placed on road diets, but what about lane reductions on interstate highways? That’s one recommendation in a report released Thursday by a panel of experts on the BQE. The New York Times. November 19, , 1pm PST. National Transportation Safety Board. October 30, , 7am PDT. In the Twin Cities, traffic engineers are reconsidering traffic congestion on four-lane arterials in the face of unrelenting tragedy on these car-centric corridors.
Andrew Keatts September 10, Despite criticism, even the federal government says the technique is effective. Famously car-centric Los Angeles has proposed an ambitious plan to replace dozens of miles of car lanes with public facilities geared towards buses, bikes and pedestrians. Before-and-after studies of road diet projects have given the Federal Highway Administration and local transportation departments the confidence to declare it a cheap way to reduce vehicle collisions and make roads more bike and pedestrian friendly. FHA studies of road diet projects have found simply reducing the number of lanes dedicated to cars cuts vehicle crashes by 19 to 52 percent as a result of reduced speeds and fewer opportunities for collisions. Nonetheless, cities continue to face local opposition when pursuing individual road diet projects. Local jurisdictions that have implemented road diets successfully say overcoming opposition requires political support and trust in the mounting evidence that these projects really do improve communities. But road diets — like roads themselves — can take many forms.
In a 3-lane configuration, the weaving and conflicts are eliminated. The Mercury News. Added congestion can outweigh benefits if vehicle traffic volumes exceed the capacity of the three-lane roadway. Other concerns regard public safety; police, fire and ambulances may be slowed and if an evacuation is ordered, the evacuation will be slower. Investment Monitor. While road diets are not appropriate on all 4-lane cross sections, streets carrying up to 25, vehicles per day function effectively with 3 lanes, depending on the traffic volumes of nearby adjacent streets. It’s not used much anymore, and for good reason.