What is a "Road Diet"?
Streets such as Hawley Road can often be restriped to reduce the number of through lanes from four to two or three without substantially reducing traffic capacity. Also known as road diets, lane reconfigurations are a cost-effective solution for reducing the severity and frequency of crashes.
According the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), road diets:
- Reduce all crashes up to 47%
- Reduce rear-end and left-turn crashes with the addition of a dedicated left-turn lane
- Reduce right-angle crashes as side street motorists need to cross fewer lanes of traffic
- Reduce the number of lanes pedestrians need to cross
- Provide an opportunity to add other amenities, like pedestrian refuge islands or protected bike lanes
- Calm traffic and curb aggressive speeding in particular
- Encourage a more community-focused "Complete Streets" environment
Furthermore, FHWA suggests that road diets have been known to reduce the prevailing (85th percentile) and average traffic speeds by 3 to 5 miles per hour.
Below is an existing example of lane reconfiguration installed on S. 2nd St.
Check out the following links for more information on road diets: