Great explainer on how bike-friendly road diets make everyone safer

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Is Vox paying for their video production by the minute? Explaining a road diet by going back to Henry Ford in 1908 was a little much.

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That’s a silly name for an interesting idea.

On a side note, every traffic planner I ever met was a bit… special.
Could be from all those spiral transition curves.

Two fairly significant roadways near us just implemented a similar lane slimming and bike lane expansion and it’s made a HUGE difference regarding travel safety. I bike it daily, and drive it a couple of times a week, and so far the net improvement in how traffic flows, how cyclists move across lanes and how much calmer the streets are has been a pretty big win.


Is a road diet better than the Diet of Worms?

This is actually pretty close to my heart but they missed some of the largest benefits of a thoughtful road diet. A good road diet opens the possibility of design changes like neckdowns which reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians, making the city more accessible to those with mobility restrictions. Reducing the tarmac surface allows for reducing the runoff from the roadway and the heat island effect. They really focused on one of the less interesting road diet options. Here’s one of the designs I’m really excited about. . The project I’m working on is substantially more modest.

@FGD135 There is always the option of the more technical terms, like road rechannelization.

@sockdoll So far we’ve just had some heated city council meetings rather than anyone executed as a heretic, so I’d say it looks better.


The phrase “road diet” has brought out auto-centrist hatred and suggests a net loss. Safety advocates have taken to calling it a “road buffet” because it includes all these options for multiple road users.

In Los Angeles a shovel-ready road buffet plan for North Figueroa was sacked by council member Gil Cedillo (previously known as “one bill Gil” for his single-minded effort to get drivers licenses in the hands of undocumented immigrants) who thinks of bicycle users as an entitled special interest niche group, despite all of the people of color being killed by cars along that very stretch.

After paying out numerous settlements on lawsuits filed by injured cyclists and their next of kin, including a situation involving a bike lane with a hole in the middle of it, other council members proposed getting rid of the bike lanes as a solution. Most of the injuries and deaths are on streets lacking pedestrian and bike infrastructure improvements and ultimately that item was put on the backburner.

Councilmembers are terrified of driver backlash (or bikelash) for reasons that have turned out to be unfounded - an attempt by an autocentric group to unseat a council member has completely fizzled out.

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