This list first appeared as a sidebar in the NMA Foundation’s Driving Freedoms Magazine Spring 2019 article All Traffic is Local.
You just learned that your city intends to install a road diet on an arterial route you take every day. You are not alone—this now happens regularly all over the country. Here are 10 excellent arguments to combat road diets in your city council or county commission.
- Road diets can cause more accidents. When traffic does not flow, more accidents occur. Vulnerable road users sometimes have the mistaken belief that the road is safer. In reality, all users of the road need to remain vigilant and responsible. There are better and less expensive ways to make a street safer: Better crosswalks, improved stoplights, and bikeways placed on non-arterial streets
- Emergency vehicles such as large fire ladder trucks cannot always navigate corners on streets that have been reduced, which could violate fire codes.
- Blocked egress during mass evacuations can cause injury and death.
- Loss of parking can cause business districts to be decimated with job losses and business closures.
- Gridlocked boulevards will divert traffic to residential streets which are not intended to handle that load.
- Due to the increased gridlock, there is more individual vehicle wear and tear, greater overall street noise, and increased vehicle emissions.
- Many times, a road diet may cause violations of the Americans with Disability Act due to difficult curb cuts and the loss of handicapped parking.
- Road diets can present already underfunded local and county street departments with more street elements to maintain, stretching their budgets and liability exposure even further.
- Road diets can create animosity between neighbors in the area.
- Residents and business owners can have increased distrust of government if the process is forced and not transparent.
If you would like to become more involved in defeating road diets in your city, contact the NMA today at firstname.lastname@example.org.