The effort was not just a wonderful road diet, but the process won over local opposition, says Dean Gunderson, a planner commenting on Pro-Urb, a listserv for urbanists. The city split the construction into two contracts so that it could be finished sooner, and worked with the Small Business Administration to provide support for businesses. A grant program helped businesses to improve their facades, magnifying the impact.
La Jolla Boulevard, San Diego, California
Travel lanes on this stroad in Bird Rock, San Diego, were reduced to two from five, with modern roundabouts calming traffic and allowing for the elimination of turn lanes at intersections. On-street parking was added to both sides, including diagonal parking on the west side, closest to the beach.
The traffic count remained approximately the same before and after the changes—about 22,000—and yet La Jolla Boulevard has been transformed to a walkable, pleasant street from one that was hostile to pedestrians. Average speeds were reduced from 40–45 mph to 19 mph. Noise levels dropped 77% and retail sales rose 30%. Traffic crashes fell by 90%.