Right Sizing Road Diet Opposition
By Dom Nozzi
August 22, 2015
“Road diets,” where travel lanes on a street are removed so that there are, say, three lanes rather than four, are profoundly beneficial when applied to nearly countless streets throughout the nation. See here and here and here for blogs I have written that describe some of these benefits.
An important obstacle to such a beneficial reform of a street, however, is that for over a century, Americans have been single-mindedly obsessed with pampering and subsidizing motorists.
When we combine that with the fact that on a daily basis nearly all of us travel inside an enormous metal box, we inevitably experience the frustration of slow downs from OTHER enormous metal boxes driven at the same time by our fellow citizens on a rather skimpy number of streets. Due to the huge size of our cars, even when there are only a handful of other drivers, we will find others “in our way.”
Due to pampering and our relative lack of being slowed down when we are walking, motorists seem to feel a larger sense of entitlement than any other group I know of.
And a frustration I’ve had to deal with in my 34 years in transportation planning is that unlike almost any other profession, nearly all people feel they are experts in “solving” transport problems, even if they have zero academic or professional credentials.