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The Wheel Thing: Road diets, daylighting & corner bulb outs: Traffic calming explained




A 'corner bulb out' extends the sidewalk into the street, shortening the distance a pedestrian has to walk, and helping slow auto traffic.
A 'corner bulb out' extends the sidewalk into the street, shortening the distance a pedestrian has to walk, and helping slow auto traffic.
Richard Drdul

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In cities across the globe, traffic engineers are applying some interesting techniques to "calm" traffic. By slowing autos in places where they mix with lots of people walking and biking, traffic planners say injuries and fatalities can be dramatically reduced. And some of the traffic calming can be achieved without spending gobs of money.

OC Register motor critic Susan Carpenter explains some of the new changes you may be seeing on the streets around you, including sidewalks that protrude out in to intersections (corner bulb outs), efforts to improve visibility at intersections (daylighting), and widening sidewalks and bike lanes while narrowing lanes for cars (road diets).