The concept of reducing road construction instead of building more, has been around in various forms
for at least 30 years. The concept of Transportation System Management is essentially the anti-thesis or ‘antidote’ to the vicious cycle-which is the endless construction of roads to alleviate traffic congestion. A road diet is new concept in the ‘grab bag’ of techniques to better manage vehicular traffic. However, as with all transportation ‘fixes’ they must be considered in combination with other strategies and if they are appropriate for particular corridors. However, coupled with other concepts, it becomes much more than it would seem seem on the surface.
Instead of mere reduction of lanes, the additional lanes could be used for an exclusive transit lanez for a Bus Rapid Transit route. This again is not a new concept, but should be ‘put on the table’ when considering reduction of lanes on arterials. The exclusive bus lanes could be in the inside or outside of the road way. If they, the are inside lanes, one could retrofit roads for Bus Rapid Transit mimicking BRT found in Curitiba, Brazil. As in Curitiba, this could also be the opportunity to consider increasing of housing density along corridors to ‘create’ the demand for the BRT line.
Road Diet" (Roadway Reconfiguration)
Informative web page from the FHWA with a good selection of other links about this subject
Road diets used as tool for reclaiming neighborhoods in San Francisco
An article from the San Francisco Examiner about ‘road diet’ in San Francisco as means to creat
more walkable or pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods.
If you don’t know about Curitiba, Brazil, this will be an introduction to not only its
unique BRT System, but other aspects about its quest for sustainability.