The City recently received a feasibility report about establishing a “road diet” on a portion of Livingston Avenue prepared by the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers. A road diet is a road design that can improve roadway safety for all users with no or minimal loss of service on the road by creating a vehicle travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane to accommodate turning traffic without backing up through traffic and adding bicycle lanes and pedestrian improvements to increase safety for all users.
The study found:
- A road diet on an urban street like Livingston Avenue is likely to reduce crashes by 19%;
- The travel time on the street will be increased slightly, but this is a good thing as the vast majority of cars on the street are speeding now;
- The travel delay times are not significant and will not reduce the level of service on the street to unacceptable levels;
- The cost/benefit of doing the road diet is heavily weighted towards the benefits as the added travel time cost is minimal and the cost savings from less loss of life and injury is substantial
As Livingston Avenue is a County road, the City’s next step towards implementing a road diet is to work with the County Engineer’s Office to develop a concept plan, project budget and design plans for a road diet.