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Dieting – when necessary – is a good thing. But when carried to extremes, it can do a lot of damage. That's my concern about the city's plan to put a portion of Lower Brownsboro Road on a "Road Diet" by reducing the current four lanes to only three.
Plan supporters insist that only good things will come of this move. Speeding will be decreased. Bicycle safety will be enhanced. And drivers moving at a slower clip will be more likely to patronize businesses along the road.
But Brownsboro Road is a major commuter artery. Why deliberately create a bottleneck at such a critical point, where no one will be able to move faster than the slowest vehicle – which includes TARC buses and bicycles? Especially when we're spending millions to widen Westport Road and Brownsboro Road further east to alleviate congestion?
Meanwhile, adding travel time is bound to cause those commuters who can to take alternate routes. When has less traffic ever meant more business?
This move is virtually guaranteed to make it more difficult for Brownsboro Road businesses to flourish. And when conditions are bad for businesses, they move elsewhere.
This is supposedly a "done deal." But I say not so fast. The relative few who will benefit from it are far outnumbered by those who'll be significantly harmed, and before anything is final, the business owners should have their say.