Four-lane undivided highways have a history of increased crashes as traffic volumes rise, due to motorists sharing the inside lane for higher speed through movements and left turns. Additionally, as active transportation increases, communities desire more livable spaces, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and transit options, which are not easily accommodated by a 4-lane undivided roadway. One solution that benefits all modes is a Road Diet (Roadway Reconfiguration).
A Road Diet is generally described as removing vehicle lanes from a roadway and reallocating the extra space for other uses or travelling modes, such as parking, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, transit use, turn lanes, medians or pedestrian refuge islands. Road Diets have the potential to improve safety, provide operational benefits, and increase the quality of life for all road users. Road Diets can be relatively low cost if planned in conjunction with reconstruction or resurfacing projects since applying Road Diets consists primarily of restriping.
For additional information about Road Diets, visit the FHWA Office of Safety Road Diets website at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets.