Complete Streets Conversions

road dietDo you want to learn how to implement Complete Streets in your town?  You can start by learning about how to sell these “Complete Streets Retrofit designs”, also known as Road Diets. This great article gives the A, B, C’s of Road diets.   Complete Street conversions are a pretty useful way to make our streets safer in South Carolina.  Many studies show that crash rates plummet when Complete Streets Retrofits are applied.  Cars may move slower, but seconds are traded for safer roadways. 

A Complete Streets Conversion is simply making a 4, 6, or 8 lane road better for more road users.  This happens by adding a two-hand-turn-lane in the middle, removing 2 outer traffic lanes, and placing 2 thin bike lanes in the “extra space”.  What do you get?  For starters, it’s much safer, for cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists.  It’s safer because it corrals those drivers making possibly dangerous left hand turns into a wide center lane, separated from thru traffic.  Safer because thru traffic flows more smoothly, and because drivers don’t have to swerve to the right, around the driver turning left.  You also get the additional benefit of bike lanes, which create safer space for those wanting to get around on a bike.  And last but not least, there is room for building pedestrian refuge islands inside some areas in the two-hand-turn-lane.  This design is so good, for so many reasons, it might just be that silver bullet to building safer streets in South Carolina. 

And is it good for business?  Most definitely.  So good, that some cities are putting in bike lanes by way of these retrofits, to bring in business.

And last but not least, let’s ride proud and safely on our roads.  Know your rights AND your responsibilities as a bicyclist AND a driver on our roads in South Carolina.  

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Amy Johnson Ely

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