GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - When we hear about diets, we think about losing weight. But, when some Grand Rapids streets go on a diet, it means something quite different.
Plainfield Avenue on the northeast side of Grand Rapids has already gone on a diet. Now, it might be time for Alpine Avenue.
Christopher Zull, the Traffic Safety Manager of Grand Rapids explains that it means taking a street that has two lanes of traffic in each direction and changing it to one lane each way with a center turn lane. In some places where this has been done, the city has been able to add bike lanes.
Plainfield was the first in Grand Rapids, switching over in 2006. Knapp, Burton and Fulton have also been put on "diets." Residents are generally agreeable to the change.
A road diet slows traffic and makes the street safer. There are fewer crashes, especially in left lane turns. It also makes some areas more attractive.
Alpine Avenue between Leonard and Ann Street is the latest to be discussed.