SILVER LAKE — Removing a lane from a busy road in Los Angeles may seem baffling. Infuriating. Even noxious. But an analysis of traffic and collision statistics say that a “road diet” in Silver Lake worked when it came to reducing speeds and improving safety, according to data scientists.
More than three years after the Los Angeles Department of Transportation put Rowena Avenue on a “road diet” — reducing the street from four lanes to three — LADOT data indicates average speeds have dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has increased significantly, said Dave Goodsmith and Ben Van Dyke in an op-ed piece in the L.A. Times.
While the street had six crashes involving unsafe speed in 2008 and 2010, that number shrank to zero in 2013 and 2015. Collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists also sank, according to data the Times studied from the California Highway Patrol.
Increased safety was the whole point of the “road diet.” The Times notes the reduction of lanes was partly inspired by the death of Ashley Sandeau, who was struck and killed by a vehicle while trying to cross the street to see her father.
The Times added that, despite the reduction in lanes, the overall volume of traffic on Rowena has not changed.
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