N. Stamatiadis, A. Kirk
Road diets, which convert four-lane highways to three-lane cross sections, are an innovative solution to address mobility and safety concerns under budgetary constraints. These improvements can assist in the development of multimodal corridors with minimal impact on automobile mobility, while retaining the original right of way. Past research has focused on evaluating road diet safety, but minimal guidance exists on determining when such conversions are appropriate from an operational perspective. The proposed guidelines focused on evaluating and comparing the operation of three- and four-lane roads at signalized intersections to provide basic guidance as to when the road diet conversion is appropriate. One of the important findings of this research is the expansion of the usable range for road diets. Prior experience has limited road diet application to roadways with ADTs less than 17,000 vehicles per day. This research identifies the importance of side street volumes and supports the utilization of road diets on roadways with volumes up to 23,000 vehicles per day. This paper provides comprehensive guidance for road diet evaluation including operational performance, correctable safety problems and identifies a list of evaluation elements that should be examined when in-depth analysis of alternatives is required.
Keywords: bicycle/pedestrian accommodation; road safety; mobility