The Year of The Road Diet

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July’s Bike Plan Implementation Team meeting was packed!

At our most recent Bicycle Plan Implementation Team meeting, Bikeways Engineer Tim Fremaux briefly noted that the LADOT implemented a number of road diets in the past fiscal year. Although it was only mentioned in passing, after looking at the exact mileage, it turns out this is actually a big accomplishment. Of the 100 miles of bike lanes installed over the last fiscal year, 20.1 miles came in the form of road diets. This comes as particularly promising news from a traffic safety perspective in light of the great safety improvements recently observed on a section of York Boulevard that received a road diet in 2006. So let’s take a page from the SFMTA, and be proud of our road diets, and see exactly where these road diets are:

The Classic Road Diet 

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San Pedro Street road diet- if you look closely you can see the old pavement markings in the middle of the southbound travel lane and center turn lane

These are streets that underwent what many may identify as the “classic” road diet. The classic road diet re-configures a roadway into a single travel lane in each direction with a center turn lane and bike lanes, sometimes buffered bike lanes if there is enough room.

The LADOT managed to implement these road diets because recent traffic counts demonstrated these streets were operating below peak-hour capacity and, more importantly, could benefit from safety improvements typically observed when road diets are implemented.

Here are the streets that underwent the “classic” road diet:

  • San Pedro St from 115th St to Florence Ave (partially buffered, 3.1 miles)
  • 8th St from Boyle Ave to Olympic Blvd (1.4 miles)
  • 25th St from Catalina Vista to Patton Ave (1.3 miles)
  • Avalon Blvd from L St to Harry Bridges Blvd (1 mile)
  • Westmont Dr from Western Ave to Gaffy St (buffered bike lanes, 1 mile)
  • Griffin Ave from Altura St to Mission Rd (buffered bike lanes, 0.9 miles)
  • Broad Ave from Anaheim St to PCH (0.8 miles)
  • San Pedro St from Vernon Ave to Jefferson Blvd (0.8 miles)
  • E St from Avalon Blvd to Alameda St (0.7 miles)
  • Motor Ave from Venice Blvd to National Blvd (0.7 miles)
  • Neptune Ave from C St to Anaheim St (0.5 miles)
  • Rowena Ave from Hyperion Ave to Glendale Blvd (0.5 miles)
  • San Pedro Pl from Main St to San Pedro St (0.5 miles)
  • Wilmington Blvd from C St to Anaheim St (0.5 miles)
  • 54th  St from 7th Ave to Van Ness Pl (0.4 miles)
  • Opp St from Fries Ave to Banning Blvd (0.4 miles)
  • Santa Monica Blvd from Virgil Ave to Manzanita St (0.3 miles)
  • Via Marisol from Lomitas Dr to Monterey Rd (0.2 miles)
  • Zonal Ave from Mission Rd to State St ( buffered bike lanes, 0.2 miles)

Total = 15.2 miles

Asymmetrical Road Diets and Other Re-configurations

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The recently extended 1st Street bike lane were implemented through a re-configuration that is less common than the “classic” road diet, but are still road diets nonetheless

These are projects which still fall under the broad “road diet” umbrella term but don’t adhere to the configuration seen in the “classic” road diet.

“Asymmetrical road diets” are re-configurations in which streets resemble the classic road diet in one direction, but not in the other. An example of an asymmetrical road diet can be seen on a segment of Cypress Avenue in Cypress Park- the street was re-configured into one travel lane in one direction, two travel lanes in the other direction, a center turn lane and bike lanes in both directions.

“Other Re-configurations” refers to non-classic road diets, such as 1st Street in Downtown where the roadway was reconfigured from three travel lanes in each direction with a center turn lane into two travel lanes in each direction with a center turn lane and bike lanes.

Here are the projects that fall under these categories:

  • Capital Dr from Western Ave to Gaffy St (asymmetrical road diet, 1 mile)
  • Clybourn Ave from Sherman Way to San Fernando Rd (asymmetrical road diet, 1 mile)
  • York Blvd from Ave 55 to North Figueroa St (asymmetrical road diet, 0.9 miles)
  • Mission Rd from Main St to Broadway ( asymmetrical road diet, 0.8 miles)
  • Alla Rd from Maxella Ave to Marina Expressway (asymmetrical road diet, 0.6 miles)
  • 1st St from Grand Ave to Beaudry Ave (non-classic road diet, 0.4 miles)
  • Cypress Ave from Arroyo Seco Ave to Jeffries Ave (asymmetrical road diet, 0.2 miles)

Total = 4.9 miles

What’s Next?

While implementing 20 miles of road diets in a single year is a considerable achievement, the LADOT is not resting on its laurels. This 2013-2014 fiscal year an additional 0.3 miles of road diet with buffered bike lanes have already been installed on Compton Avenue with more road diet projects to come.

Additionally, even though road diets are acknowledged by the Federal Highway Administration as a proven means to improve traffic safety, the LADOT also looks forward to monitoring new road diet projects as data becomes available to observe specific safety improvements experienced on these streets.

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Do you know of any streets that may be good candidates for road diets? Let us know in the comments!

5 replies
  1. Steven M. Sweat
    Steven M. Sweat says:

    So glad to be seeing both planning and actions being taken to improve bike safety in Los Angeles. Road modifications like road diets are statistically shown to reduce biking accidents. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  2. Dylan Smith
    Dylan Smith says:

    On the “asymmetrical” side, I can also suggest National Blvd., parallel to Palms Blvd. Big Blue Bus runs two lines there, FYI.

    Reply
  3. Dylan Smith
    Dylan Smith says:

    Here’s a very simple road diet that has already been studied by LADOT but has yet to be implemented: the southernmost part of Westwood Boulevard.

    Quoting the first-year bike lanes draft EIR: “The proposed project would eliminate one southbound lane from National Boulevard to Pico Boulevard” (page 22). I suggest that eliminating this lane makes good sense because it encourages needless speeding and endangers bicyclists on this 1-mile residential stretch. It would also allow for the addition of much-needed bike lanes on both sides of the street.

    After riding home alongside racing southbound traffic on a nearly daily basis, I think going ahead with this portion of the bike plan as soon as possible would be a great first step toward a complete Westwood Boulevard and a great improvement for the safety of this neighborhood.

    Please consider taking a closer look at this. Thank you.

    Reply

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