3-lane roads dramatically safer than 4-lane

Pretty much every Missouri community automatically moves to the four lane road when "improving" a two-lane road.

After you read the article below, you're going to ask why--because there is something much better, much safer, that doesn't cost any more (in many cases, less), and moves the same amount of traffic.

For years I have been advocating more "road diets" in Missouri. Basically that means instead of automatically going to a 4-lane road when "improving" a two lane road, there is something in between--a 3 lane road with bike lanes.

The 3-lane gives the same travel time for motorists, can handle pretty much the same amount of traffic, has MUCH lower collision rates for motorists, is much friendlier for people (ie, pedestrians, bicyclists, disabled, etc.), discourages speeding, and has other benefits for a business area or neighborhood.

This study bears this out and more:

At first glance, it is difficult for most, including many transportation engineers and planners, to accept that, in urban corridors with less than 20,000 vpd, reducing the number of traffic lanes will improve traffic safety and maintain an acceptable level of service. The substantial reduction in accident rates is primarily the result of the reduction in conflict points and improved sight distance for turning and crossing traffic along the . . .

The three-lane facility is also much more user friendly to elderly drivers. Fewer decisions and judgments have to be made to enter or cross a three-lane facility. Iowa has the third highest percentage of elderly drivers in the country and is making an effort to better accommodate this growing segment of the population on its roadways.