Road Diets

Also known as "Complete Street conversions" or "safety conversions," road diets are an ultra-affordable way to improve 

safety by adjusting a road's lane configuration when it is resurfaced.

Benefits include:

  • creating a protected left-turn lane for mid-block left-turning motorists,
  • reducing crossing distance for pedestrians,
  • reducing travel speeds to decrease crash severity, and
  • allocating excess roadway width for other purposes, including bicycle lanes, sidewalks, multi-use paths, on-street parking, or transit stops.

The Federal Highway Administration recently published a Road Diet Informational Guide which explains what road diets are, where they should be implemented, and how they should be designed in different contexts.

Any time a roadway in your community is scheduled for routine resurfacing, share the FHWA guide and work with your local transportation department to see if a road diet would improve the safety and efficiency of the road. Implementing these changes as part of a scheduled repaving is the most cost-effective way for communities to start creating safer, family-friendly streets that meet the needs of all users.