A Comparative Analysis of Arterial Characteristics to Evaluate Potential Lane Reduction


  • Rachel Hannah The College of New Jersey
  • Thomas Brennan
  • Seri Park




traffic calming, pedestrian access, lane reduction


Major roadways across the United States (US) have spurred commercial, retail, industrial, and residential developments along their routes.  These roadways have been constructed as a reliable means to link cities and towns.  Over the years, towns centers and residential housing have developed along these routes changing the characteristics from a roadway that provides mobility into a roadway that provides accessibility to the local population.  Consequently, the roadway infrastructure has not always evolved to meet the demands of the population living closest to the road, instead serving others located outside the town.  Road diets, or lane reductions, have been introduced to help mitigate crash incidents, while creating a corridor that can provide greater accessibility to pedestrians and bicyclists.  This research compares the characteristics of two parallel corridors, 4-lane Route 31 (NJ-31) and 2-lane Route 206 (US-206), located in Mercer County, New Jersey (NJ), US.  Both roads traverse residential areas and are in close proximity to a college campus.  NJ-31 has the potential to be reduced from 4-lanes to 2-lanes, but information is needed to support this reduction.  An analysis of the two corridors including crashes, congestion, volume, demographics, and entrance types are quantified and compared.  Although similar in traffic volume, the NJ-31 experiences a higher rate of traffic crashes per mile, while US-206 experiences more congestion.  This research demonstrates a foundation in establishing metrics to determine long term impacts of a dieted roadway, and to quantify an increase of congestion as compared to a reduction in crash incidents.


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