The community interaction over the so-called road diet has been enlightening and speaks directly to one of our founding principles. The freedom to speak and to exchange ideas is fundamental to this democratic republic, and in so many ways, it is a principle that is becoming marginalized.
I thought I would comment on the most recent road diet in our neighborhood. Dunsmore School has been a fabric of this community for more than half a century. Our daughter and son both went to school there, and both later graduated from Crescenta Valley High School and moved on into adult life and have children of their own. In recent days Dunsmore Avenue, near the school and park, has undergone significant change. The roadway at the crosswalk on Dunsmore between the school and the park has been reduced by about 20 feet. The roadway was once about 43 feet wide at that point, and now it is about 23 feet. While I understand that a fire truck needs only 10 feet of roadway, it will be interesting to watch the school buses traverse this new narrow stretch.
I am sure there are reasons for the diet. Perhaps the existing disabled ramps were too narrow or the slope too great using contemporary engineering standards. Or perhaps there was additional roadway money available to spend or a government subsidy or incentive to make the modification. Perhaps there was a traffic study completed by Northwestern University indicating that the road diet would make this area safer. By the way, this same roadway is identified as one of the city's shared bicycle routes. I suppose those cars and bicycles will just have less space to share. I suppose the kids who use bicycles at Dunsmore or Clark Magnet School will also have less roadway to share.