|Source: Virginia DOT's Lawyers Rd Roat Diet|
Because of this, traffic flow can often be made smoother and safer by something called a road diet. The 4-lane road becomes a road with 2 travel lanes, a center shared turn lane and bike lanes on the outside. This modification has been found to reduce accidents by between 19% and 47%.
In addition to easing traffic flow, these improved roads make the street easier to cross for pedestrians and, thanks to the bike lanes, much improved for cyclists.
Because of these obvious benefits, there have been--according to Wikipedia--"perhaps 20,000 road diets in the United States with another 500-1,000 conducted each year." And yet, they are almost always controversial.
Despite data showing otherwise, many motorists fear the diet will cause congestion. The road diet is misunderstood as a project to take space from drivers to give to cyclists.
There are many Norwalk streets that could benefit from the safety and livability improvements of a road diet. The Stroffolino bridge into SoNo would create an improved corridor between SoNo and Calf Pasture Beach. An East Avenue road diet could transform the livability of East Norwalk.
We should ask for road diets in Norwalk and as we do so, we should keep in mind the winning argument. The pedestrian and cyclist benefits are great, but road diets are good for cars too.