Nassau County’s Hempstead Turnpike Retains Distinction A Being Most Dangerous Road for Pedestrians in NYC Region

This year’s report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign concerning pedestrian safety in the New York City region finds that an average of 415 pedestrians are killed in New Jersey, downstate New York, and Connecticut each year.

The 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. The chart below compares some of this year’s figures with last’s.

The most dangerous places for people to walk are roadways known as arterials – wide, high-speed roads designed to move as many cars as fast as possible, with little if any consideration for pedestrians. With multiple lanes, long sightlines, and fewer interruptions from cross traffic or pedestrians, arterials encourage traffic to speed. Such high travel speeds give drivers little time to react, particularly when they are distracted by cell phones or other devices. Prevailing travel speeds on arterials tend to be upwards of 40 mph.

A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at this speeds has a dismal 15 percent chance of survival. In contrast, pedestrians hit by cars traveling at 30 mph have a 45 percent chance of surviving a collision. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of pedestrian fatalities occur on arterials.

Rank Change in Ranking (Prior Year’s Rank) and Numbers of Pedestrian Fatalities (2007-2009):

Rank

Change in Ranking (Prior Year’s Rank)

Road

County

Pedestrian Fatalities (2007-2009)

1

— (1)

SR-24 (Hempstead Tpke/Conklin St)

Nassau, NY

12

2

↑ (7)

Broadway

Manhattan, NY

11

3

— (3)

US-130 (Burlington Pike)

Burlington, NJ

10

4

↓ (2)

SR-27 (Sunrise Hwy)

Suffolk, NY

9

5

↓ (3)

Atlantic Ave

Brooklyn, NY

8

5

↑ (8)

7th Ave

Manhattan, NY

8

5

new

Henry Hudson Pkwy/West St

Manhattan, NY

8

8

↑ (17)

US-322/40 (Blackhorse Pike/Albany Ave)

Atlantic, NJ

7

8

— (8)

US-1

Middlesex, NJ

7

8

— (8)

Route 549

Ocean, NJ

7

8

— (8)

US-1&9

Union, NJ

7

8

— (8)

Kings Hwy

Brooklyn, NY

7

8

↑ (17)

Ocean Pkwy

Brooklyn, NY

7

8

↑ (17)

Bowery

Manhattan, NY

7

8

new

SR-27 (Sunrise Hwy)

Nassau, NY

7

8

↓ (3)

SR-25 (Middle Country Rd)

Suffolk, NY

7

8

new

Broadway

the Bronx, NY

7

8

↑ (24)

Grand Concourse

the Bronx, NY

7

How Can Arterial Safety Be Improved

There are some recommended ways to try to improve pedestrian safety. New York State has implemented a SafeSeniors program seeking to address pedestrian safety for older New Yorkers, and NYCDOT has emerged as a national leader in carving out safe public spaces for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Elsewhere in downstate New York, at least six communities have adopted Complete Streets policies or resolutions requiring that new construction seek to accommodate the needs of all roads users. Another effective way to improve local pedestrian safety is through traffic calming. Traffic calming uses engineering techniques to force drivers to slow down and pay greater attention to their surroundings. These techniques include changes in street alignment, installation of barriers and speed bumps, and other physical measures to reduce traffic speeds and/ or cut-through volumes.

One highly successful approach to improving arterial safety is an engineering solution known as a “road diet.” Typically, road diets convert a four-lane arterial with modest traffic into a two-lane road with a middle turning lane, and bicycle lanes, on-street parking, or wider sidewalk. By reducing the number of travel lanes and removing turning vehicles from the flow of traffic, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions by between 25 and 44 percent.

The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims including those involving auto accidents. For over 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and surrounding areas. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. To learn more, watch our videos.

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