I would like to say that if the “road diet” will save even one bicyclist from getting crushed by a two-ton piece of steel, it is worth it! Actually, I didn’t know anything about the road diet until I read a recent installment of the mayor's “As I See It" column.
A bike is good for the environment and for some people it is economically the only thing they have. And some people have orthopedic and health problems that force them on a bike. Towns that have implemented these road diets, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation and FHWA, have seen a decrease in crashes between bikes and cars go down by 17-47 percent. These towns have seen improved access by all road users not just those protected by at least two tons of steel and enhanced safety for all.
All bikers have to protect them is a helmet. The road diet provides an environment that facilitates and protects a variety of transportation modes.
The mayor said in her column that California does not try to hide the fact that lane reduction does make it safer for bicyclists but it makes it worse congestion-wise for vehicles. For anyone to put a car and congestion over someone who uses a bike to get everywhere carrying everything leaves me scratching my head. Am I really in Oregon?