U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
A Road Diet, or roadway reconfiguration, can improve safety, calm traffic, provide better mobility and access for all road users, and enhance overall quality of life. A Road Diet typically involves converting an existing four-lane undivided roadway to a three-lane roadway consisting of two through lanes and a center two-way left-turn lane (TWLTL).
Before and after example of a Road Diet. Source: FHWA
Benefits of Road Diet installations may include:
- Reduction of rear-end and left-turn crashes due to the dedicated left-turn lane.
- Reduced right-angle crashes as side street motorists cross three versus four travel lanes.
- Fewer lanes for pedestrians to cross.
- Opportunity to install pedestrian refuge islands, bicycle lanes, on-street parking, or transit stops.
- Traffic calming and more consistent speeds.
- A more community-focused, Complete Streets environment that better accommodates the needs of all road users.
A Road Diet can be a low-cost safety solution when planned in conjunction with a simple pavement overlay, and the reconfiguration can be accomplished at no additional cost. Typically, a Road Diet is implemented on a roadway with a current and future average daily traffic of 25,000 or less.