Willow Glen “Road Diet” a Success

06.18.2015

When it comes to living in the San Jose area, our community leaders are always on the lookout for ways to improve our quality of life. One neighborhood has seen the rewards of San Jose’s trial approach to improving roadside safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Willow Glen has long been known as a charming and serene neighborhood with plenty of restaurants and shops for residents and visitors to enjoy. Unfortunately there had been a large buildup of traffic over the years, in particular on Lincoln Avenue, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. With a new approach to make San Jose more bike and walker friendly, Willow Glen was chosen as a perfect place to try out a new way of directing traffic through the area. Lincoln Avenue was put on a “Road Diet” where the lanes were changed to encourage slower, less traffic by car and more traffic by cycle and foot.

The “Road Diet” has been deemed a success by the city, with studies conducted before and after the changes to Lincoln Avenue were made, showing that this area of Willow Glen is now safer and more user friendly for cyclists and pedestrians. The “Road Diet” was done as a trial, and now the city is seeking specific feedback on the changes. The street went from two lanes in each direction down to one, new bike lanes were added, as well as a center turn lane. According to the feedback already collected and data studies completed, the area is already safer with the slower traffic speeds and the additional space to allow for those traveling by bike or on foot.

The studies show that traffic has decreased approximately 13% since the new changes were put in place along Lincoln Avenue. Along the 23 streets studied in the area, a reduction of 100-600 cars per day was noted, which is good news for those that were concerned more people would drive the side streets with the reduction of lanes on Lincoln Avenue. One of the key things that more and more people are looking for when living in an urban area is better walkability and safer routes for cyclists and pedestrians. San Jose is responding to this increased demand and it appears to be working.

The city is still seeking new feedback and will welcome any suggestions or comments sent to lincolnroaddiet@gmail.com. There will be more safety improvements added to Lincoln Avenue, such as better signal timing and lane striping, but the city wants to keep the neighborhood active in the process of any continued changes. At this time the “Road Diet” is being hailed as a success as it is now easier for people to travel to and around the main shopping and dining area of Willow Glen. These changes have been put in place as part of San Jose’s plan, Envision 2040, where it is a goal to eventually have up to 30% of traffic in the area be on bike or foot. The aim of this is to not only reduce car traffic for a better environment, but also to encourage a healthier lifestyle for all residents.

This forward thinking and the success of the “Road Diet” on Lincoln Avenue are just two of the many things that makes this part of California a great place to live. When you are ready to buy or sell a home, we at Haylen Group are here to help you with all of your real estate needs! If you are unsure what your options are, call Helen Chong at (408) 800-LIST or email at Helen@HaylenGroup.com. You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.

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