Road diets: designing a safer street

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  • Published on:  Thursday, July 19, 2018
  • Reconfigure the lanes and the traffic will calm.

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    Over the course of the 20th century, the car became America’s dominant mode of transportation. As vehicle miles travelled soared well past the rate of population growth, demands on the roadway surged. Congestion became a major issue. So transportation planners made the roads wider and added traffic lanes.

    Today, we now know that bigger roads and extra traffic lanes do nothing to solve congestion. In fact, it tends to induce even more traffic. So we didn’t fix the congestion issues, and on top of that, we built wide roads that are relatively unsafe.

    Transportation planners in the 21st century recognized that many of the roads that were overbuilt could be redesigned to calm speeding and add space for newer multimodal transportation options. And thus, the road diet was born.

    The video above explains why road diets are implemented, and how planners survey the feasibility of a lane reconfiguration. You can learn more about road diets with the following resources:


  • Sebastian Elytron  (Jul 19, 2018)

    I tried the road diet. Although roadkill is a good source of protein I found the lack of carbs unsatisfying and unsustainable. Even Paleo is easier.

  • 2015corvettec7  (Sep 6, 2018)


  • Eric Ding  (Jul 31, 2018)

    You are my hero

  • Awesome! I’d like to see more video from you about city planning and management!

  • Jacy  (Aug 8, 2018)

    Robert Imhoff and that's the problem with a lot of people like you is that they are selfish and self-centered and only care about themselves instead of sharing. Greed vs share is starting to become the obvious future.

  • Robert Imhoff  (Jul 22, 2018) seems like toad diets are a huge failure. Why publish this knowing that it does not work?

  • Check My Playlist  (Jul 19, 2018)

    Phew, I thought they were going to take away fast food restaurants from roads because people want to go on a diet

  • lalaithan  (Jul 26, 2018)

    Surely Not looks like you fell into the Sarchasm.

  • Surely Not  (Jul 26, 2018)

    lalaithan r/whooosh

  • Justin Y.  (Jul 19, 2018)

    It really is crazy once you stop and think of how massive the highway system is in the us.

  • Campbell Sadeghy  (Nov 1, 2018)

    It should take up more space when you factor in how many people are unwilling to give up their cars and how bad congestion is. There are not enough freeways as it is now.

  • Josh Bobst  (Jul 21, 2018)

    Worth about fifteen trillion dollars.

  • Mars  (Jul 19, 2018)

    Since you can't pass, this makes slow drivers the king of the lane, and can pick the speed of everyone else behind them, which causes road rage, which can cause dangerous maneuvers such as passing illegally.

  • Osito Rican  (Feb 13, 2019)

    I'm inclined to agree with you. Society nowadays is to rush everywhere. Everything is now, now, now and causes frustration when that person in front of you is going too slow and you have no way to go around. When live in a volatile society where, sorry to say, people are very trigger happy. I see it more and more everyday and it's scary. I like the idea and understand the science but extended one lane corridor in a congested area will just have bad secondary side effects.

  • R Barnhart  (Nov 1, 2018)

    Places where these changes took place and the extra lanes were needed it creates insane traffic backups.

  • Salokin  (Jul 19, 2018)

    We should have smarter transport systems like trams and bullet trains, one day

  • WeDontThink  (Sep 3, 2018)

    How many times have you seen a bus in a town going although mostly empty? People don't want to ride in a mass transit bus because 1) It's not going where you want to go. 2) see 1 again. 3) the timing of the bus doesn't coincide with your schedule.

  • Grow Guild  (Aug 31, 2018)

    except we vote here....

  • Lashan  (Jul 19, 2018)

    Very clever idea. More lanes might seem like it would solve the problem of congestion, but it really just encourages more people to use their car and the congestion returns to what it once was. This removes that issue while also making things safer.

  • Michael Kenney  (Sep 4, 2018)

    +Misha C you think that in Texas they spent millions and millions of tax dollars to build a highway and this caused the traffic???? not the traffic caused them to build a bigger highway??? Government does not work that way.

  • drdrnewman  (Jul 31, 2018)

    Actually, shopping is changing to a mixture of deliveries to your house and trips to walk around specialist outlets in the city centres. Shopping malls are on their way out.

  • F J  (Jul 19, 2018)

    I'm currently doing an internship for my city's department of transportation, and the most things we are working on are road diets, bike lanes, and complete streets. It seems really complex but its actually one of most fascinating and simple systems to implement. So when I saw this video pop up in my notifications I totally nerded out. Thanks for talking about interesting but fairly unknown topics!!

  • Jerrad Wilson  (Sep 4, 2018)

    Make sure to consider the counter argument:

  • Mass Debator  (Jul 19, 2018)

    We all pretend as if we loath the comment section, when in reality we love it

  • Mary Simpson  (Jul 24, 2018)

    Especially when every one is so funny and clever.

  • Ike Okereke  (Jul 22, 2018)

    Mass Debator Comments on most videos I like, but on some I despise.

  • Seve Garza  (Jul 19, 2018)

    Thank you for mentioning that context matters. There are many situation where toad diets are not the answer. Or it may improve some aspects while making other aspects worse. Context is key!

  • Buddy Clem  (Jul 24, 2018)

    I read a sign yesterday that said: *FROG PARKING**ALL OTHERS WILL BE TOAD*I _do_ agree about the roads though. In West Virginia, most roads cannot meet the traffic capacity. That's probably true of most mountainous regions.

  • Isha Trivedi  (Jul 19, 2018)

    Sack Boy is that a Harry Potter reference?