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Transportation

Why One Florida City Reversed Its Road Diet

As Gainesville returns bike lanes to cars, the decision reflects a broader debate over removing traffic lanes.
Eighth Avenue, in Gainesville, Florida, as it appeared during a recent road diet.
Eighth Avenue, in Gainesville, Florida, as it appeared during a recent road diet.City of Gainesville

In mid-2013, a mile-long stretch of 8th Avenue in Gainesville, Florida, went on a road diet. Four vehicle lanes became two for cars and two for cyclists (as shown in the rendering above). Pedestrians on adjacent sidewalks gained a bit more separation from moving traffic. A painted median reserved road space for a pleasantly landscaped version to come.

The hope was that the design trial would convince local officials to adopt a permanent two-lane multimodal street. Those hopes ended in December 2014.