STEP Road Diets


♫ music ♫ In general, a safe place for pedestrians to
cross the road is at a well-marked, controlled location, often at an intersection. But in 2016, 72 percent of pedestrian fatalities
occurred at mid-block locations, between intersections. So, how do we reduce fatalities at these locations and provide safe transportation for every pedestrian? Putting your roads on a diet can help. A typical road diet converts an existing four-lane, undivided roadway to two through lanes and a center turn lane. Road diets can reduce crashes by 19 percent in urban areas and close to 50 percent in suburban areas. Cheryl Burnette: “The cars automatically slow down as the lanes are much more narrow. This makes it so much safer for not only pedestrians
but for cyclists traveling on the same road.” Road diets improve safety by reducing vehicle
speeds and reducing turning conflicts. Lower speeds can also reduce the number and
severity of all types of crashes. By removing travel lanes or reducing travel lane width, road diets can allow for widened sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and curb extensions that improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. Byron Rushing: “They give us the ability to do speed management, to reduce lanes, to narrow lanes, put lanes where they need to be, make situations more intuitive.” Communities interested in road diets will
need to consider a range of factors including vehicle speed, vehicle volume, peak hour and
peak direction traffic flow, and the frequency of stopping and slow moving vehicles. A suitable roadway has average daily traffic
equal to or less than 20,000. Contact FHWA for more information on using road diets and other measures to provide safe transportation for every pedestrian.

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