Publication Detail

When a Diet Prompts a Gain: Impact of a Road Diet on Bicycling in Davis, California


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Gudz, Eric, Kevin Fang, Susan L. Handy (2016) When a Diet Prompts a Gain: Impact of a Road Diet on Bicycling in Davis, California. Transportation Research Record 2587, 61 - 67

With the goal to improve the integration of multiple travel modes into traditional roadway designs, many jurisdictions have considered road diets, characterized by reductions in vehicular traffic lanes and reallocation of right-of-way for other modes. Studies show that road diets can improve safety without slowing automobile traffic, but benefits for pedestrians and bicyclists have not been widely documented. To address this gap, this study examined the effects of a road diet project in Davis, California. Data were collected on the number of bicyclists and pedestrians at key intersections and automobile travel times along the corridor before and after the road diet treatment. Every intersection that was studied experienced a statistically significant increase in the number of bicyclists during the morning or the evening peak period or during both. On average across all intersections studied along the corridor, the number of bicyclists who used Fifth Street increased by 243%, but the change in pedestrian volume was not statistically significant. Contrary to common fears about road diets, automobile travel times decreased a statistically significant amount during the evening peak. This study demonstrated that road diets can benefit bicyclists without negative effects on automobile travelers.