Have a Road with a Crash Problem? Consider a Road Diet.

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Not all crashes are created equal. Drivers, pedestrians and even roadways are all responsible for creating dangerous situations for other road users.

One of the most notorious roadways with a high crash rate is the four-lane undivided highway that forces left-turning vehicles to slow down while actively in a through lane and cross dual lanes of oncoming traffic.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has analyzed a roadway reconfiguration known as the Road Diet to increase safety at these traditional four-lane undivided highways.

What is a Road Diet?

A Road Diet is a reconfiguration of a traditional four-lane undivided highway that converts into three lanes – two through lanes and a center, two-way left turn lane.

According to the FWHA, implementing a Road Diet will reduce crash rates 19 to 47 percent, improve mobility and better integrate the roadway into the surrounding area, enhancing quality of life.

Example of a road diet before and after

Why have a Road Diet?

As urban areas continue to promote programs for increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic, enhanced complete streets and livable spaces, Road Diets provide a low-cost solution to increase safety and better accommodate today’s vexing traffic problems.

Along with crash reduction, additional benefits of Road Diets include:

  • Reduced roadway speeding
  • Reduced aggressive driving behaviors
  • Improved safety at pedestrian crossings
  • Improved safety for bicyclists on roadways
  • Increased bicycle usage

For additional information on Road Diets, check out these FHWA case studies, this informational guide and the below video.

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