Biking and Walking in Virginia
Improving safety is a top priority for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Roadway reconfigurations are a tool to address safety issues and are designated as a proven safety countermeasure by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Roadway reconfiguration is a broad term that can be defined as any striping change that alters a roadway's layout.
A Road Diet is a specific type of roadway reconfiguration generally described as removing one or more travel lanes from a roadway and utilizing the space for other uses or travel modes.
VDOT works with localities across the commonwealth interested in implementing roadway reconfigurations either as independent projects or as restriping during repaving projects.
Implementing striping and marking changes with the repaving program is a cost-effective approach for adding bike lanes and improving safety by reducing crashes, speed, and crossing conflicts for pedestrians.
Road Diet Basic Design
A classic Road Diet typically involves converting an existing four-lane, undivided roadway to a three-lane roadway consisting of two through lanes and a center, two-way left-turn lane and bike lanes or paved shoulders.
At least 27 such “4-3” conversions have been implemented in Virginia.
The resulting benefits of the 4-3 conversion include an average crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding land uses that results in an enhanced quality of life.
A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.
Roadway Reconfigurations in Virginia
See roadway reconfiguration projects in Virginia and find out more information on this interactive map. View full-size map.
VDOT produced two striping plans and operational reports to use as examples of this initiative. They are below.
Virginia Transportation Research Council report “How’s that Diet Working: Performance of Virginia Road Diets”