Finally, a diet that works – on multiple levels.
The road diet has come to Phoenix, specifically to a stretch of Central Avenue. Taz Loomans is urging that we “become a part of the emerging Phoenix experience outside of your car,” but that’s not the only reason to understand and support the concept. As planners and advocates like Loomans know, multi-lane streets designed to ferry vehicles from point A to point B don’t do much good at all for the places they pass through. They sub-divide not only tracts of land but hopes for a common sense of place that can drive community stability and sustainability. They also discourage healthier modes of transportation such as walking and cycling.
Chicago’s mayor has declared a “war on cars.” New York City has completed enough road diet projects to garner both praise and backlash. But to get lost in argument over execution is to miss the point of the strategy. Cities and towns that promote all types of circulation amongst its people benefit from improved public safety, improved health and the positive dynamics of interconnection.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: traffic moves pretty fast. If you don’t slow it down and create a shared-use approach to transportation, you might just miss out on building sustainable and attractive communities.