Students at Glendale’s R.D. White Elementary School rode to school for international Bike to School Day today, and Walk Bike Glendale worked with the PTA and Safe Routes to School on the event. Giving students safer roads so they can exercise while walking or riding to school is one reason a road diet is a good idea.
Glendale’s Safe and Healthy Streets Plan development included webinars and case studies for city staff. Sunroom Desk road diet webinar notes indicate that road diets have achieved real success in cities across the U.S. The rate of accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists, and vehicular accidents, fell after road diets were introduced. Safety improved, more people were out walking or bicycling, and vehicle traffic adjusted well.
A road diet is not a “bike project”; it is a redesign that gives more travel space to pedestrians and bicyclists while calming vehicle traffic. Fewer car lanes make it safer for pedestrians to cross streets. Seniors and children especially benefit from these improvements. Drivers benefit because a middle left-turn lane creates better access to driveways and more separation of traffic. People who live along such streets have a safer environment.
Glendale’s Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, which includes these and other transportation infrastructure changes, just received a Southern California Association of Governments’ Compass Blueprint Award. This video describes Glendale’s work recognized by the President’s Award for Excellence: Visionary Planning for Mobility, Livability, Prosperity & Sustainability.
The Safe and Healthy Streets Plan was adopted unanimously on April 19, 2011 and promotes a vision of Glendale where residents live safer, healthier lives by walking and riding a bicycle for transportation and recreation. The plan lays out a blueprint to develop a multi-modal road network that addresses the needs of all users through a combination of education, encouragement, enforcement, engineering and evaluation policies.
Developing a Citywide network of Neighborhood Greenways, the plan will connect major civic, educational, recreational and commercial destinations in Glendale. The City of Glendale collaborated closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) to create the policy, work with advocates, and develop overwhelming community and residential support.