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FHWA Home / Safety / Road Diets (Roadway Reconfiguration) / Road Diet Newsletter

Fall 2016: Road Diet Quarterly Update

Becky Crowe photograph

Welcome from Becky Crowe

Transportation Specialist, FHWA Office of Safety

Across the nation, more and more states are institutionalizing Road Diets. They are now institutionalized in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Another 31 states are in the development, demonstration, and assessment stages and moving toward institutionalizing Road Diets for standard practice. This comes as no surprise. When planned out and tested, Road Diets work.

There is a lot to explore in this issue of the Road Diet Quarterly Update, including a look at New Jersey's Road Diet projects, our recent peer exchanges, and more, so let's jump right in!

#RoadDiets Rule! Become a Road Diet champion today! We are officially launching our #RoadDiets Selfie campaign. Post a photo showing love for Road Diets near you.

Here's how it works:

  1. Print out the hashtag (#RoadDiets) at the bottom of the newsletter.
  2. Snap a selfie with the sign at your favorite Road Diet. (Points for creativity!)
  3. Post the photo on Facebook or Twitter. Include "#RoadDiets" in your text along with your state or locality. For example, my tweet would be: In Henrico, VA, #RoadDiets are awesome!

I look forward to seeing your post! Remember, be creative and be safe when you take that selfie!

It's back to school season! Every day, children and their parents walk or ride their bicycles to school. I have a daughter who started kindergarten this year, so I understand the anxieties that come about on the commute. I am happy to say, Road Diets are building safer routes to school. Click here to learn how!

Finally, I'm excited to share some new materials we have created to help inform both transportation professionals and the public about Road Diets and how they work:

We'll be promoting these materials through social media, so be sure to follow FHWA on Facebook and Twitter. And, don't forget to use #RoadDiet in your social media posts about projects in your area! For more information on Road Diets, please visit: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/

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New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Road Diet Pilot Studies and Proven Results

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) supports employing Road Diets on state systems whenever appropriate. In the last 5 years, 47 Road Diets have been implemented or planned on state, county, or local roads in New Jersey.

Khalid Shaikh of NJDOT explains why Road Diets are increasingly successful in New Jersey: "Implementing a Road Diet can be a low cost, high impact strategy for improving safety for all road users."

A Road Diet pilot studies project is being initiated by NJDOT. The pilot project is currently making progress to determine effective ways for New Jersey's counties and municipalities to select, develop, and implement Road Diets on county and local roadways. This project will identify and advance project development of a Road Diet on select highway segments.

As the pilot studies begin, NJDOT continues to work with the general public and local leaders to implement Road Diets elsewhere and enhance existing roads in New Jersey.

New Jersey Route 45
This Road Diet on New Jersey Route 45 in the City of Woodbury allows for safer, more efficient travel by all road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. Photo Credit: NJDOT

Passaic County, New Jersey
This Road Diet in Passaic County, New Jersey allows for a safer and organized pattern of traffic for all road users. (Photo Credit: NJDOT)

To further this purpose, NJDOT prepared this video to provide information on how Road Diets work, and the benefits they provide, using case studies of implemented Road Diets in some of New Jersey's county, town, and shore environments. The video has become a successful tool in educating local stakeholders of the many benefits of local Road Diets.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has experienced success implementing a Road Diet on Route 45 in the City of Woodbury, Gloucester County. In the video, Debbie Kingsland of NJDOT Bureau of Commuter and Mobility Strategies, explains that "the very successful New Jersey Route 45 Road Diet in Woodbury [NJ] was the first Road Diet on the state system."

Route 45 (pictured below) was converted from a multi-lane roadway into a road with one travel lane in each direction, a left turn lane, and bicycle lanes. This opened the door for further examination as Debbie Kingsland explains, "going forward, we have 20 candidate locations, and we'll be studying converting 10 into Road Diets over the next five years."

Toward the northern side of the state, in Passaic County, Road Diets are also having a profound impact. Prior to the Road Diet implementation, four-lane roads were typically characterized by high levels of speed, high traffic volumes, and abrupt stops by left-turning traffic. Charles Silverstein, a Passaic County Traffic Engineer, describes the results following the Road Diet implementation: "We have done five Road Diets in three different towns. We have experienced an average crash reduction rate of between 20 to 30 percent. But more important than that, we found that our serious crashes have gone down from between 50 to 60 percent."

The New Jersey Department of Transportation is continuing to work with local stakeholders on implementing successful Road Diets throughout the state. With more Road Diet projects in the pipeline, NJDOT is looking forward to maintaining stakeholder engagement at each project stage: Planning - Construction - Completion.

For more information on NJDOT projects, visit www.state.nj.us/transportation/eng/completestreets/roaddiet.shtm.

For questions regarding the pilot studies and other Road Diet projects in the state of New Jersey, contact Khalid Shaikh.

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What's New?

Regional Road Diet Peer-to-Peer Exchanges

As part of our initiative to share industry best practices on Road Diet implementation, we have partnered with 24 DOTs across the nation to host Peer-to-Peer Exchanges. Here are a few highlights from our most recent visits.

New Mexico: The Western Region Road Diet Peer Exchange took place on April 12 to 13, 2016, in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. The attending States included California, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. Over 40 multidisciplinary representatives from FHWA, State DOT's, and local agencies attended. Presentations focused on marketing and outreach for Road Diets, Before and After Evaluation Factors and Institutionalizing Road Diets.

Massachusetts: The Northeast Region Road Diet Peer Exchange took place on June 8 to 9, 2016 in Worcester, Massachusetts at the DCU Center arena. The attending states included Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The objective of the exchange was to collaborate and discuss the benefits, lessons learned, challenges, and solutions related to Road Diets. Fifty multidisciplinary representatives from FHWA, State DOTs, and local agencies had the opportunity to ask questions, exchange information, and share learning experiences with their peers on various Road Diet topics.

Tennessee: The FHWA Office of Safety most recently sponsored a Central Region Road Diet Peer Exchange on August 24 to 25, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Tennessee Tower. Attending states included Iowa, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. This exchange provided a forum for participants to discuss and exchange ideas on Road Diet implementation.

Webinar: Road Diet Policies and Policy Integration

Looking to implement Road Diets in your area? Not sure where to start? We recently hosted a webinar focused on policies relating to Road Diet implementations. In addition to developing a stand-alone Road Diet policy, agencies can also integrate Road Diets within existing policies and safety plans. View the webinar recording online here: http://connectdot.connectsolutions.com/p1ve0v0w90s.

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Need Help with Road Diets?

The FHWA is offering state DOT's FREE Road Diet-related technical assistance. This assistance includes any activities that advance Road Diets within your state. As examples, technical assistance requests may include:

Lastly, FHWA is also offering FREE Road Diet workshops. For more information on the workshops, please visit: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/resources/fhwasa16033-flyer.cfm.

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Around the States

Each quarter we will take a look at different locations across the country where Road Diet projects are being discussed and implemented.

Oregon: The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has implemented several Road Diets to address safety issues, particularly pedestrian safety and accessibility. PBOT has before and after data on several Road Diet projects, which show positive results.

Kentucky: In Louisville, Third Street south of the Watterson Expressway, from Southern Heights Avenue to its terminus at Kenwood Drive, is about to undergo a Road Diet. The four-lane street will be converted to three lanes–one lane in each direction with a turning lane. As part of the project, sidewalk ramps at intersections along the two-mile route will be made ADA accessible.

Texas: The City of Austin completed a report, Redesigning the Street, A Report on Right-Sizing Projects in Austin, TX 1999-2014. This report describes the safety benefits of these projects as well as the selection, analysis, public outreach, and impacts on safety and capacity that right-sizing has had on the transportation system in the City of Austin. A total of 37 right-sizing projects have been installed since 1999. Most of these projects involved a typical four to three reconfiguration which consists of converting a roadway with two lanes in each direction to a roadway with one lane in each direction and a center turn lane.

Oklahoma: The City of Stillwater completed several Road Diet projects. In other cities such as Norman, Road Diets are part of its Comprehensive Transportation Plan. Norman had identified 6 potential corridors that Road Diets would be beneficial.

California: : FHWA provided two Road Diets workshops in Southern California on June 28th and June 29th. Local agencies in the southern part of the state, including southern districts, attended the workshops. This fiscal year (began in July), Caltrans plans to work with FHWA to conduct additional workshops in the central and northern parts of California.

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Social Media Highlights

Remember: Post a selfie online! Include "#RoadDiets" in your text and use the graphic below.

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The Road Diet Quarterly Update

is a publication of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

The Federal Highway Administration publishes the Road Diet Quarterly Update four times a year. We can be reached at: rebecca.crowe@dot.gov

The Road Diet Quarterly Update is available online at the FHWA Office of Safety Website safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets

We welcome your comments and Road Diet safety-related articles. The purpose of this newsletter is to increase awareness and provide information and resources of Road Diets to local and state transportation authorities as well as the general public.

We encourage readers to submit articles that might be of value to the Road Diet stakeholder community. Send your comments, questions, and articles for review electronically to Becky Crowe at rebecca.crowe@dot.gov

Page last modified on February 1, 2017
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