You’ve heard of the Adkins Diet. Maybe you’ve even heard of the Mediterranean Diet. But have you heard of the road diet? If not, you aren’t alone. Road diets are a fairly new concept, but the idea is simple: Narrow streets in such a way that it wouldn’t cause vehicle congestion, and make more room for bike paths.
The concept is almost exclusive to the United States. In countries like Great Britain, there is no need to narrow the already thin roads. Here, though, roads seem to widen on a daily basis, making more room for cars and less for those who choose to commute in a more eco-friendly way.
The idea of road diets has been gaining momentum over the last 10 years. Urban planners have been studying city streets and looking for ways to improve traffic flow and cut down on accidents at the same time. Widening roads doesn’t seem to be the solution that planners were hoping for. Slimming streets is now being considered.
Road diets have been a success in cities like San Francisco. Here, closer to home, the new diet hasn’t been as successful. Way back in 2010, Carolina Beach attempted to make Lake Park Boulevard more narrow. Businesses complained and traffic jams during the holidays were at a peak.
Unfortunately, in many cases, road diets don’t do much more than immediately anger drivers who are simply not willing to drive on skinny streets. Bike riders, however, love the safety that dedicated bike paths and lanes provide. What is the answer? In a car culture, sticking to a road diet could prove to be as difficult as never letting a carb pass through your lips again.
One thing is certain when it comes to road diets: They are a topic of hot contention. While they do work in some cities, they have proven difficult to maintain in others. Whether or not thinner roadways will be a thing of the future remains to be seen.
If you have been involved in a bike accident in North Carolina, call our offices. A member of our team will review the details of your case at no cost to you. Reach out to us today.