Road Diet


Road Diet

Now there’s a term I hadn’t seen. The concept is that a four-lane street or road be shrunk to two traffic lanes with the rest for bicycles, buses, turning lanes, etc. This is done at a cost of 1 to 3 million a mile.

The politicos behind this concept say that it makes the streets slower, and therefore safer. They comment that putting these streets on a diet have reduced traffic accidents and fatalities up to 40%.

A teen was hit in an unmarked crosswalk in an area with no streetlights. I wonder if marking the crosswalk and installing streetlights might be a viable alternative.

Businesses, commuters, and residents living near streets that have been put on ‘diets’ are complaining to the point that cities are reconsidering and, in some cases, removing the lane obstructions.

Some of the proponents of ‘road diets’ are saying that they are being promoted incorrectly. They should be promoted as a way to make the streets safer, not as a way to provide protected bike lanes.

Others have said that perhaps a sledgehammer is being used when a ball peen might work just as well. That in areas where safety is a consideration, there may be less aggressive alternatives that meet the needs of pedestrians, bikers, and motorists.

Maybe instead of a full fledged diet, the roads need simply to watch a few calories here and there.


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John Van Horn

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