Yonge Street Road Diet
Road Diet Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Road Diet?
A Road Diet is roadway reconfiguration used to increase safety and livability at a low cost. Implementing Road Diets improves mobility and accessibility for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation passengers. Road Diets come in different configurations. The most common configuration turns a four-lane road (two lanes each direction) into a two-lane road with a left-turn lane in the middle.
Why would you choose to implement a Road Diet?
Road Diets are often used as a traffic calming measure. Transportation departments and engineers will consider Road Diets if a stretch of road has a lot of crashes or incites speeding, especially in sensitive areas like school zones or around parks.
How does a Road Diet help pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit-users?
Road Diets reduce the number of lanes that a pedestrian needs to cross, thus reducing their exposure to traffic. The extra space can be used to add pedestrian refuge islands. For bicyclists, Road Diets also allow for the addition of an exclusive bicycle lane that is separated from motorized traffic. Transit-users can look forward to safer commuter stops without hindering the flow of traffic when bus pullouts are added.
How much do Road Diets increase safety?
The history of Road Diet installments and research indicates a range of 19 to 47 percent reduction in overall crashes. However, some Road Diets have shown an even greater improvement—as much as a 70 percent reduction in crashes along a single stretch of road.
Doesn't reducing the number of lanes create traffic congestion?
A Road Diet isn’t a good solution for all roads. A Road Diet generally does not benefit roads with especially high traffic volumes. However, when installed in the right locations, Road Diets have little to no impact on the traffic flow. In some cases, a four-lane undivided road already operates as a three-lane roadway due to turning movements and driver behaviour, so roadway vehicle capacity can often be maintained.
Is it expensive to install a Road Diet?
The costs associated with implementing a Road Diet are typically minimal. In fact, Road Diets are often implemented at the same time as a repaving project or other road repair, reducing the cost even further.