It’s spring, and it’s the perfect time of year to go for a bike ride. However, trying to bike on a busy road can be dangerous. Luckily for us, there are four new road diets on the table that will help make our roads saver for cyclists and walkers.
What is a road diet?
To begin with, what are road diets? Road diets are when the state turns a road that has a total of four through lanes into a road that has one through lane on each side with a center lane that is designated for turning. This provides more space for on-street parking and improves pedestrian and bicycle safety.
How do road diets affect traffic flow?
Some people might think, “How can a road with less through lanes carry the same amount of traffic?” Here’s what LouisvilleKY.gov said about the matter. “When a car stops in a moving traffic lane to turn left, it causes traffic to slow down. It also causes traffic congestion, blind spots, unsafe lane changes and varying vehicle speeds. In a 3-lane system, there is always one lane for driving and one lane for turning, no mixing up the two. This makes driving safer and more reliable, with fewer crashes and frustrations. For these reasons, a 3-lane road can typically carry the same amount of traffic as a 4-lane road.”
Are road diets safe for walkers and cyclists?
Road diets can also make the roads safer for walkers and cyclists. Road diets make the road safer because walkers or cyclists only have to cross three lanes of traffic, instead of four. There are also fewer blind spots because there aren’t as many cars stopped or slowing down because of another car trying to turn. Another reason are cars on the road typically go at a more consistent pace, instead of speeding through the area. Road diets also can create bike lanes. These help cyclists not get rear-ended, 'doored' by someone getting out of a parked car or being 'mirrored' by a motor vehicle passing by within a foot or two of the cyclist. It helps create some distance between the cyclist and the cars passing on the road.
Roads with bike lanes and turn lanes
Here's a list of some of the roads that Louisville has already reconfigured:
- Grinstead Dr: Cherokee Pkwy. to Hilliard Ave.
- West Market: 9th St. to 23rd St.
- Brownsboro Rd.: State St. to N Ewing Ave.
- Eastern Pkwy. 3rd St Arthur St.