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Narrow Lanes Save Lives

6 November 2023

New research from John Hopkins University shows that :

  • Narrower lanes do not increase the risk of collision. When comparing 9- and 11-foot lanes, we found no evidence of increased car crashes. Yet, increasing to 12-foot lanes did increase the risk of crashes, most likely due to drivers increasing their speed and driving more carelessly when they have room to make mistakes.
  • Speed limit plays a key role in travel width safety. In lanes at 20-25 mph speeds, lane width did not affect safety. However, in lanes at 30-35 mph speeds, wider lanes resulted in significantly higher number of crashes than 9-foot lanes.
  • Narrower lanes help address critical environmental issues. They accommodate more users in less space, use less asphalt pavement, with less land consumption and smaller impervious surface areas.
  • Narrowing travel lanes could positively impact the economy. This includes raising property values, boosting business operation along streets and developing new design projects.

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