ER Colorado NOW
The Road Diet Explained & When the Rubber Meets the Road
Updated: Jul 25, 2021
Upon further examination of the Beautiful Boulevard Project, its authors explain how they want to bring a vision of a Green Society rife with trees, bike lanes and walkways to reinvigorate the stale image of Downtown Eagle Rock. In principle it reduces lanes to one in each direction to mitigate unsafe speeds and accidents. With a center lane divider, drivers from either side have the ability to ease in and make a left turn. There have been numerous articles published that show how this road configuration had improved the overall societal health in places such as Amsterdam, France, New Jersey.
A publication made by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration explains how this works.
Image obtained from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, "Mythbusters, Debunking Road Diet Myths."
When the Rubber Meets the Road
Though ideal, this doesn't stand as a universal solution to solving traffic. In some cases it worsens it, due to poor planning and implementation. Population density and traffic flow also play crucial factors to the success of the road diet arrangement. In 2017, Mar Vista experienced an increase in traffic accidents and gridlock due to many unforeseen factors. Many business owners and community members weren't properly informed of the changes to their street. Due to the confusion in parking, these business owners saw their revenues drop dramatically. The increased time in congestion and disastrous gridlocks fueled the frustration of many local commuters
Overall, the outcomes of implementing these designs weigh heavily on the context of each city.
Video links on the concept of Road Diets:
California Department of Consumer Affairs
Additional examples on the failures of Road Diets:
Playa Del Rey:
CBS News LA: Road Diet 'Destroyed My Life and Ruined My Family'
KCRW: Responding to the Rage at a Road Diet Story
Long Beach, California:
Dangers of Road Diets: The All Aspect Report