Three-Lane Design Translates To Fewer Crashes

Sheldon, Iowa — As much as we sometimes complain about the reconfiguration that converted Park Street, also known as Highway 18, through Sheldon from four lane to two lanes with a center left turn lane, the configuration is having the desired effect.

According to Sheldon Police Chief Lyle Bolkema, the change from four lanes to two plus a turn lane is part of what the Iowa Department of Transportation calls the “road diet” idea. Bolkema says that one of the DOT talking points was that the three-lane design would reduce the number of accidents by 30-percent.

Bolkema says the statistics for Sheldon are not readily available, but he estimates that the number of crashes on Park Street has been reduced by more than the 30-percent the DOT had forecast.

So the next time you’re driving down Park Street in Sheldon and feeling a little frustration about the speed of the car ahead of you, take heart that the 3-lane design means your chance of having a collision is about 30-percent less than it was when the road was four lanes.



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