Friday, October 21, 2016

Stop your grousing and read about "A Los Angeles Road Diet That Worked."

A road diet like the one being implemented on Upper Spring, in an auto-centric city like Los Angeles?

"This is an encouraging message for other towns considering the viability and impact of a road diet."

Cool. We just might be able to pull it of right here in Nawbany.

A LOS ANGELES ROAD DIET THAT WORKED, by Rachel Quednau (Strong Towns)

... This road diet didn't occur without some pushback. From the article:

Some nearby residents, however, complained that the new street design — though well-intentioned — increased traffic and decreased safety by diverting drivers onto neighboring residential streets. They organized a much-publicized petition calling for the city to provide an alternative solution to its road diet plan.

But the road diet persisted with excellent results. Recent data collection efforts show that average speeds on the street decreased and motor vehicle crashes went down. Unfortunately, speeding and crashes have not been completely eliminated, but it seems the road diet has had an overall positive effect and safety has improved. Most significantly, the data shows that all of this was accomplished while traffic on the street remained at a similar volume. From the article:

We analyzed the average traffic counts on Rowena both before and after the project and found that typical traffic volume was unchanged after the road diet was implemented. [...] These results challenge the perception that Los Angeles is too auto-centric for road diets to work.

This story not only reinforces the value of road diets, it also stresses the need for adequate data collection and analysis both before and after their implementation (or, indeed, the implementation of any project like this) ...

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