That New Far East Central Avenue “Road Diet”

The bloated and ever-dangerous Central Avenue between Juan Tabo and Tramway got a “road diet” recently. In this case, “diet” means periodic horizontal striping and continuous (except for many right turn lanes) white-line striping of the far right lane.

So how’s our diet going? Here are a few admittedly sleepy Sunday morning snaps taken today at Central and Dorado:

As you can see, absolute 100% driver compliance in not using the eastbound “dieted” lane. True, there also aren’t any eastbound drivers at all, but 100% is 100%. And yes, that Route 66 bus stop is still operational, diet be damned.
A few seconds later, still 100% driver compliance! So far, an unqualified success in dieting!
And now the real proof/pudding. Two drivers and BOTH of them are properly NOT in the Lane o’ Dieting! True, technically either/both of these drivers could have used the dieted lane for right turns onto Dorado (as signage indicates), but at least they are NOT barreling up in that right lane so close to your humble photographer that there’s no way in Hell he’d stand this close to take a photo.

Ergo, with a robust sample size (N = 2) in a space of about 60 seconds, on a sleepy Sunday morning, we can categorically state that the new Central Avenue “road diet” from Juan Tabo to Tramway is a complete (get it, “complete” like “complete street,” which Central Avenue still very much is NOT, despite this “road diet”) success.

More seriously, Better Burque would love to visit the location on a, say, Wednesday afternoon about 4:15 PM, and sincerely appreciates anybody willing to go out there at that day/time and take some snaps (we’ll most certainly publish them), as we’re too damn busy these days to do it ourselves.

Speaking of complete, the big question from the cycling perspective is “Who would now feel safe enough to cycle this ‘dieted’ lane (especially uphill/eastbound) who wasn’t already crazy enough to cycle this part of Central pre-diet?” Much, much more important in terms of roadways users along this stretch is this question: “How much safer do you feel walking the sidewalks now v. pre-diet?”

While many have scoffed at the idea, and now execution, of this exercise in striping (I know, I’ve heard abundant scoffing), fewer, if not zero, drivers zooming right next to the sidewalk make a difference. And not just on a sleepy Sunday morning.

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