Over the past few years Rochester has seen several area roadways slimmed down. East and University Avenues in the City and route 590 and Saint Paul Boulevard heading up to the lake have all been reduced from 4 lanes to 2 (usually with a center turning lane). Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute coined the phrase “road diet”. Basically, a road diet is when one or more auto lanes are removed and replaced with either a center turning lane, bike lanes, wider shoulders, wider sidewalks or any combination of those things.
Personally, I LOVE this. Not only do less auto lanes make me feel more at ease as a pedestrian or riding my bike… but as a driver, I’ve found that I’m much more relaxed when I’m not thinking about the speedy jackass who’s trying to pass me from the righthand lane. And what’s good for my blood pressure is good for everyone. Believe me.
But before you make up your mind, take a look at this video from Streetfilms…
A while back I contacted the Monroe County Dept. of Transportation and made some suggestions for lane reductions in my own neighborhood. I was told that while there are a few more county roads that are candidates, lane reductions are considered only when the road pavement reaches the end of it’s lifespan and is scheduled for resurfacing. At that point careful consideration must be made based on auto traffic data. I was also told that opponents to these road diets have been vocal. And that opposition can weigh heavily on the decision.
So I’m curious to know what you all think. Do road diets make you angry? If so why? Or, if you’re in favor, what are some streets in Rochester that you’d like to see slimmed down?
Tags: Dan Burden, East Avenue, road diet, Rochester, Rochester NY, University Avenue, video, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at 11:38 pm and is filed under Opinion, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.