CT/NJ/NY: Most Dangerous Roads for Walking And How States Can Make them Safer

Posted by Content Coordinator on Thursday, February 10th, 2011



The most dangerous places for people to walk are wide, high‐speed roads designed to move as many cars as fast as possible, with little if any consideration for pedestrians. In New Jersey, downstate New York, and Connecticut, nearly two‐thirds of regional pedestrian fatalities occur on multi‐lane thoroughfares known as arterials, like the Burlington Pike running along the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, and the Hempstead Turnpike bisecting Nassau County.

This report, Most Dangerous Roads for Walking, uses three years of federal data to pinpoint the exact location of each pedestrian death in downstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Using newly available latitude and longitude data, we mapped each of these fatalities through interactive Google Maps

We then review available crash information to determine if pedestrian fatalities are more likely to occur on certain types of roadways. As noted above, we concluded that more than 60 percent of regional pedestrian fatalities occurred on arterial roadways.

Overall, a staggering number of pedestrians are killed in the tri‐state region every year. From 2007 through 2009, more than 1,200 pedestrians were killed in collisions with cars or trucks in Connecticut, New Jersey, and downstate New York. The annual figure has begun to creep up again, after declining dramatically in 2007 when tri‐state residents cut back on driving in response to fluctuating gasoline prices and the economic recession. Preliminary data for 2010, however, show pedestrian fatalities may be falling again, dropping by more than 11 percent in New Jersey, for example.

Fortunately, state departments of transportation and communities across the region are beginning to recognize the dangers of conventional road design to pedestrians and have responded by passing Complete Streets laws and policies which encourage traffic engineers to take the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, seniors, children and others into consideration when building a new road or retrofitting an existing street. Still, much more needs to be done to keep pedestrians safe on the tri‐state region’s roads.

Key Findings
• More than 1,200 pedestrians have been killed in collisions with cars in our region between 2007 and 2009.
• The most dangerous roads for walking in the entire region are the Hempstead Turnpike in Nassau County, NY, northern Broadway in Manhattan, Burlington Pike in Burlington County, NJ, and the Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County, NY. In Connecticut, Route 1 (running the entire length of the state from Stamford to New London) was the most dangerous road with 6 fatalities.
• Nearly two‐thirds of pedestrian deaths in our region occur on multi‐lane thoroughfares known as arterials.
• Pedestrian safety projects offer inexpensive ways to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries.

Regional Pedestrian Fatalities by Road TypeConnecticut Pedestrian Fatalities, 2007-2009Download full report (PDF): Most Dangerous Roads 2011
View maps and fact sheets (tstc.org)

About Tri-State Transportation Campaign
“The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to reducing car dependency in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Leading environmental and planning organizations formed the Campaign in the early nineties as a response to the mounting economic and environmental costs of automobile and truck dependence and promising reforms in federal transportation policy.”

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