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Ron P. Schneider, Former Traffic Engineer

I am a Louisville resident and a former Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) engineer who was working there when the state instituted what is believed to be the first road diet ever by the Cabinet, Euclid Avenue in Lexington.  I am attaching e-mails with comments from folks in Lexington who are more closely associated with the project, but I have a pretty fair recollection of it myself as well, and have been on Euclid both as a cyclist and a driver.  All three individuals quoted below work for the Lexington area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO): Max Conyers as Transportation Planning Manager, Charles Schaub as Senior Transportation Planner, and Kenzie Gleason as Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
Coordinator.  Mr. Schaub, at the time of the Euclid Avenue project, was serving as the liaison from KYTC's Division of Multimodal Programs to the Lexington MPO.  I took an interest in learning about this project at the time, as I was then working with Mr. Schaub in the same position with the Cabinet with respect to Louisville area MPO, KIPDA.

I have attached the report to which Mr. Schaub refers in his e-mail.  It is rather lengthly, but one section of particular note is pages 25-27, which gives examples of five road diets (including Euclid), and which CONCLUDES THAT THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF CRASH REDUCTION FROM THESE PROJECTS AS A GENERAL RULE.

Myth 1 - It slows traffic down.
  This myth does not hold water from the data presented in the report (which now recommends in the summary section road diets for traffic volumes up to 23,000 vehicles per day as opposed to the old recommendation of 17,000 vpd, either of which clearly exceeds Brownsboro totals anyway) but also if one compares their own experiences driving on four lane roads versus driving on three lane roads with a center turn lane.  While a person may feel that they are forced to travel more slowly in the latter situation, there is also the fact that crash rates are higher in the former situation (which cause a great deal of delay when they happen), but also from the fact that when a person thinks that they are gaining by passing someone in the left lane, this advantage is quickly taken away when they encounter a person turning left in front of them and are forced to stop while that person waits for traffic to clear to complete their turn.  Stopping for 30 seconds in this situation after traveling 45 mph for one minute is effectively the same as traveling for 1 1/2 minutes at 30 mph.  Everyone who travels on four-lane urban roads (and virtually every driver in Louisville or, I believe, Lexington does at some time, if not frequently) knows this experience.

Myth 2 -
It makes people less likely to visit businesses on that road. People traveling in the 3-lane situation as opposed to the four lane situation outlined above are less likely to be concentrating on maneuvering lane changes and thus are under less stress and are more
likely to notice the businesses which they pass as they travel the road. This is more likely to help out businesses along the road, not hurt them. While the situation is a little different (sidewalk v. bike lane) the effect on traffic should not be significantly different and, as each of the three Lexingtonians quoted below and the attached report can attest, should result in less crashes and an eventual turnaround for the attitudes of those in the opposition.

Thank you for your consideration,
Ron Schneider
3619 Johnston Way
Louisville 40220





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