Road Diets and Pedestrian Safety
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
2:00 p.m. — 3:30 p.m. EDT
Road diets, or the reallocation of road space through reduction in the number of regular traffic lanes, are of interest to communities that may be seeking to reduce traffic speeds, reduce crashes, improve accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists, or achieve a number of other benefits. This webinar will present information about the safety benefits of road diets, particularly to pedestrians, and highlight examples of road diet implementation in the United States.
Libby Thomas, a researcher at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, will provide a brief presentation on some of the research findings related to road diets. She will discuss many of the safety benefits of road diets, which have been shown to reduce crashes among all road users.
Mike Sallaberry, Transportation Engineer at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, will discuss the road diet experience in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has implemented more road diet projects within its 47 square miles than any other city in North America. This portion of the presentation will give some brief background on the history of road diets in San Francisco, focusing on how and why they are used. Mike will discuss how road diets have been used to create space for bikeways, pedestrian facilities, and transit, as well as how they are used for traffic calming purposes and to add landscaping and storm water management features to a street. The presentation will touch on some of the benefits of road diets but will focus more on how to get them approved, especially when they are controversial.
Gina Coffman, of Toole Design Group, will discuss the road diet experience in Seattle, Washington. The City of Seattle has successfully implemented over 30 road diets. Before and after evaluations have indicated up to 70 percent reduction in injury collisions and 90 percent reduction in aggressive speeders on corridors where such projects have been implemented. Gina’s presentation will explore the history, research, planning and design of road diets, offering tips to build stakeholder support through public process. Seattle case studies will include before and after data showing changes in traffic and bicycle volume, neighborhood diversions, speeding and collisions over the years.
The presenters will also participate in a question and answer session to discuss how to address barriers to implementation and answer questions from the attendees.
This webinar is one of the free webinars that FHWA offers quarterly as part of its Pedestrian Safety Focus States and Cities initiatives. FHWA's Safety Office is trying to aggressively reduce pedestrian deaths by focusing extra resources on the states and cities with the highest pedestrian fatalities and/or fatality rates. Webinar archives for this series, as well as listings of upcoming sessions, can be found at http://www.walkinginfo.org/training/pbic/pedfocus_webinars.cfm.