Four-lane undivided highways have a history of relatively high crash rates, especially as traffic volumes and turning movements increase. A principal cause is that the left, or inside lane is shared by higher-speed through traffic and left-turning vehicles. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has recognized road diets as a proven safety countermeasure, as they have been shown to reduce the number of vehicle-to-vehicle conflict points that contribute to rear-end, left-turn and sideswipe crashes, provide safer facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians, manage speeds and improve a community's livability. Road diets are becoming standard practice across the country. Communities in many states, including New Jersey, have implemented road diets and realized their benefits. Because most road diets can be installed on existing pavement within the right of way, they can be a low cost way for a community to achieve many goals.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) supports creating road diets on our state system where appropriate. In the last five years, 47 road diets have been undertaken on state, county or local roads in New Jersey, and over 70% of this number have been constructed and operational.
NJDOT prepared this video to provide information on how road diets work, and the benefits they provide, using case studies of implemented road diets in some of New Jersey's county, town and shore environments.