In March, we shared with you the first 5 episodes of a series by Streetfilms, called Moving Beyond the Automobile. This month we are sharing the latest three episodes. These topics are very timely for issues facing Lee County, so I hope you'll watch these short videos.
# 7: Road Diet
by Clarence Eckerson, Jr. on April 12, 2011 from the series Moving Beyond the Automobile
What’s a road diet? Quite simply, traffic-calming expert Dan Burden told Streetfilms, “A road diet is anytime you take any lane out of a road.”
The first time people hear about a road diet, their initial reaction likely goes something like this: “How can removing lanes improve my neighborhood and not cause traffic backups?” It seems counter intuitive, but taking away lanes can actually help traffic flow smoother while improving safety for everyone.
Road diets are good for pedestrians: They reduce speeding and make vehicle movements more predictable while shortening crossing distances, usually through curb extensions or center median islands. They’re good for cyclists: Many road diets shift space from car lanes to create bike lanes. They’re good for drivers: Less speeding improves safety for motorists and passengers, and providing left-turn pockets allows through traffic to proceed without shifting lanes or waiting behind turning vehicles.
And here’s something to keep in mind during this era of lean budgets: Road diets are a highly-effective infrastructure improvement that can be implemented quickly and at low cost.