The Truth About ‘Road Diets’

By Scottsdale City Councilmember Tom Durham

What’s the truth about “road diets?” It’s really pretty simple. The current City Council has approved one – and only one – road diet. The residents asked for something to be done about the dangerous conditions on 68th Street. 68th Street is mostly two lanes, but it expanded to four as it went north. This transition created problems as cars sped up and switched lanes. This section of 68th Street had three times the number of accidents as an average Scottsdale street and ranked in the top 7% for accidents per mile. Tragically, there were two pedestrian fatalities in recent years. To address the issue, City staff held neighborhood outreach where neighbors agreed to the plan.

The work on the road included dedicated turn lanes and protected pedestrian crossings, all of which made the street safer. There was plenty of room because 68th Street was below 40% capacity. Police and fire personnel confirmed that narrowing the road would not present access issues.

The City Council has added many lane miles in areas where more capacity is needed, especially in the growing areas of the City.

The City Council approved the plan because safety is our primary concern. It’s not “pro-resident” or “family friendly” to keep our streets in a dangerous condition.