Tri State Transportation Campaign

Transportation Nation

Report Finds 10 Most Dangerous Roads in NYC Area for Pedestrians, "Arterial" Are Worst

Monday, February 25, 2013

Nassau County Pedestrian Fatalities, 2009-2011

Fourteen pedestrians died along Hempstead Turnpike in Nassau County, NY from 2009 through 2011. That's almost one fatality for each mile of road, a morbid statistic that earned that 16-mile stretch the dubious distinction of the most dangerous road in the NYC area according to an analysis by a transportation policy watchdog group.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign crunched traffic data numbers from 2009-2001 for the New York City area, including suburbs in Long Island (which includes Nassau County), New Jersey and Connecticut. According to a report issued by the Campaign today, one type of road stands out as particularly dangerous for pedestrians. 

"The analysis found that arterial roads – roads with two or more lanes in each direction that are designed to accommodate vehicle speeds of 40 mph or higher – are the most deadly for pedestrians, with almost 60 percent of pedestrian deaths in Connecticut, New Jersey and downstate New York occurring on this type of road.

“Arterials were traditionally designed to move vehicles from one destination to the next without regard for other road users like pedestrians and bicyclists. We continue to see that designing roads like this results in needless loss of life,” said Renata Silberblatt, report author and staff analyst with the Campaign."

For a full list of the 10 most dangerous roads according to the report, scroll down. For maps and lists by county, go here.

In the report, the Campaign praised governmental agencies for taking steps to redesign dangerous corridors.

State complete streets laws exist in New York and Connecticut and the New Jersey DOT endorsed a complete streets policy in 2009. In addition, over 40 municipal and county governments in the tri-state region have adopted complete streets policies. These local policies will help ensure that the roadways under local and county jurisdiction are designed and redesigned with all users – pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists in mind.

In 2012, the New York State Department of Transportation began pedestrian safety improvements along Hempstead Turnpike, also known as Route 24.

“We have seen again and again that relatively low-cost improvements such as the improvements being done to Hempstead Turnpike can save lives,” said Veronica Vanterpool, Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s executive director. "“We applaud NYSDOT’s attention to Hempstead Turnpike," she added in an emailed statement.

According to the statement, the improvements include "eight raised medians and five new crosswalks, as well as relocating six bus stops closer to crosswalks and altering traffic signals to calm traffic."

The report recommends increased spending on Safe Routes to School, Safe Routes to Transit and Safe Routes for Seniors programs, and promotes "complete streets" laws that require the inclusion of pedestrian and cyclist concerns in street planning and redesigns.

"Recent improvements to New York’s most dangerous roadways are very encouraging and AARP is hopeful that this report will instill a sense of urgency to make even more improvements where necessary," said Will Stoner, associate state director for AARP in New York in a statement.

The report uses the latest data available in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

The 10 most dangerous roads in the NYC Tri-State Area

Rank Change in Ranking (Prior Year's Rank) Road Pedestrian Fatalities (2009-2011)
1 - SR-24 (HEMPSTEAD TPKE,FULTON AVE),Nassau County,NY 14
2 - BROADWAY,Manhattan,NY 12
3 ↑ (6) SR-25 (JERICHOTPKE,MIDDLE COUNTRY RD),Suffolk County,NY 11
4 ↑ (6) SR-27 (SUNRISEHWY),NassauCounty, NY 9
4 ↑ (6) SR-110 (NEW YORK AVE,BROADHOLLOW RD, BROADWAY),Suffolk County,NY 9
4 ↑ (14) US‐322/40 (Blackhorse Pike),Atlantic County,NJ 9
4 ↓ (3) US-130 (BURLINGTON PIKE),Burlington County,NJ 9
4 ↑ (6) ROUTE 1,Middlesex County,NJ 9
9 ↓ (3) SR-27 (SUNRISEHWY,MONTAUK POINT STATE HWY, CR 39),Suffolk County,NY 8
9 ↑ (26) US-30 (WHITE HORSE PIKE),Camden County,NJ 8
9 new ROUTE 9,Middlesex County,NJ 8


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Transportation Nation

Walking While Elderly, Danger Increases with Age in NY Region

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One potential safety measure, employed in Canada, is explicit signage. (photo by Marcin Wichary via flickr)

In the greater New York City region, older pedestrians are almost two-and-a-half times more likely to be struck and killed by a vehicle than those under age 60.

That's the conclusion in a new report by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC), which also found that elderly pedestrians in the NYC area suffer higher fatality rates than the national average.

According to the TSTC, between 2008 and 2010, 435 pedestrians aged 60 years and older were killed on the region’s roads. That age range makes up just over 18 percent of the area's population -- but accounts for 34 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

For those who walk slower, it can be difficult to cross an intersection before the light changes. That's partly why the older a pedestrian gets, the more likely she is to be hit and killed by a car. Those aged 75 years and older fared worst of all, with a fatality rate 3.09 times the rate of those under 60.

According to the report, "older pedestrians in Litchfield County, Connecticut have the highest fatality rate in the region, representing 75 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in the county, but only 22.1 percent of the population."

Nassau County, Queens and Brooklyn in New York and Hudson County, New Jersey, rounded out the top five of worst counties for elderly pedestrian safety.



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Transportation Nation

Arterial Roads Most Dangerous to Southern NJ Bicyclists

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A screen shot of bike accident locations in Southern New Jersey

In southern New Jersey counties, one type of road is responsible for more accidents between bicyclists and cars.

That road is an arterial -- a road that has multiple travel lanes in each direction and speeds of 40 mph or over. "A very high proportion of these accidents are occurring on the same roads in the southern part of state," said Matthew Norris, South Jersey Advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, an advocacy group. "So if we're able to make fixes and make a relatively small number of roads safer, the benefits will be huge."

The TSTC analyzed ten years of crash data from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Norris said the fixes can be as simple as painting bike lanes and a bike symbol on the roadway, as well as building separated lanes for bikers.

The TSTC also looked at accident rates by county. Cape May, which borders the beach and is a big tourist draw in the summer, had the highest rate of bicycle crashes -- 8.42 per 10,000 residents. Gloucester County had the lowest accident rate, at 1.87 crashes per 10,000 residents.

Norris praised New Jersey's Complete Streets policy, which he said "requires that in all future roadway construction or rehabilitation projects, the needs of bicyclists, pedestrian and transit riders, people of all ages and abilities are accommodated." He said the New Jersey Department of Transportation is "definitely showing some steps in the right direction."


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Transportation Nation

Gov Cuomo To Decide Whether New York Gets "Complete Streets"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A "complete street" with space marked out not only for vehicles but pedestrians and bikes. (Photo by NYC DOT.)

(New York, NY - WNYC) New York State seems primed to gain more "complete" streets in the near future. A bill requiring transportation planners to consider pedestrian and bike-friendly features when building and redesigning roads passed in the New York State Assembly last night, after previously passing in the State Senate.

The bill now goes to Governor Cuomo, who is expected to sign it into law.

So-called 'complete streets' include not just space for vehicles but elements like bike lanes, pedestrian islands, countdown crosswalk signals and expanded curbs for people waiting to board a bus. The requirement would apply to roads built with state or federal money.

Nadine Lemmon, legislative advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, is using state statistics to lobby for the Governor's signature. "New York has some of the most dangerous roads in the nation," she said. "Over the last ten years, over 3,000 pedestrians have died on our roads and our research at Tri-State shows that one of the leading causes of these deaths is faulty road design."

Some highway superintendents complained about the cost of adding bike lanes and similar features to road projects. So the bill was changed in a late negotiation to require them in the design phase, while making their implementation optional if they'd put a project over budget. A town or county cannot be sued if it chooses not to install complete street features for budgetary reasons.

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Transportation Nation

Initial Reaction to Gateway Tunnel, Son of ARC, is Positive

Monday, February 07, 2011

Route of defunct ARC project in blue; route of proposed Gateway Tunnel in red.

(New York - Jim O'Grady and Kate McGee, WNYC) Gateway Tunnel--bride, son, mutant offspring of ARC--you choose--has been unveiled.

Amtrak President Joseph Boardman joined New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez on Monday to pledge $50 million for an engineering and planning study of a new trans-Hudson rail link between New York and New Jersey. It was the first of many steps if the $13.5 billion project is to come to fruition.

Like ARC, which was canceled by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for potential cost overruns, the Gateway Tunnel is meant to address a bi-state rail crisis.

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Transportation Nation

U.S. Senate Voting on $230 Monthly Commuter Tax Benefit

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

(New York--Jim O'Grady, WNYC) The U.S. Senate is voting today on a tax cut compromise that includes a provision allowing transit riders to deduct up to $230 per month for the cost of their commute.

The move would be a big step toward extending a benefit that began last year as part of the Obama administration's federal stimulus package. Before then, a transit commuter's monthly pre-tax benefit was capped at $120. Raising the cap to $230 put bus and train riders--and van poolers--on par with those who drive to work and pay for parking.

Tri-State Transportation Campaign, an advocacy group that works in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, has been pushing the provision. Spokeswoman Ya-Ting Liu said, "At the end of the day, given the growing need for affordable transportation options, and the growing economic cost of traffic congestion, fed policy should reward transit use. And that’s exactly what this does."

After the Senate vote, the tax package compromise will be taken up by the House. Should it pass there, the House and Senate would need to come up with a reconciled bill and then pass that bill before the end of the year.

Liu said the yearly suspense over the $230 benefit for transit riders could be avoided if the provision were to be written into the tax code, as it has been for drivers.

"The underlying issue is parity between transit and parking," she said. "Right now, this is a permanent benefit that only drivers enjoy."

For more on the issue and its economic ramifications, see this Marketplace report.

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Transportation Nation

NJ Sierra Club Thrilled Over Hudson Tunnel Moratorium

Monday, September 13, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) This just in from the Sierra Club on the ARC Tunnel:

Stopping a Runaway Train

The Sierra Club is pleased that New Jersey Transit’s Access to the Region’s Core project (ARC) has been halted. This month long hold on the project is the right course of action. This multi-billion dollar tunnel is like a runaway train that’s on track to go at least a billion dollars over budget.

This time out should be used to allow the different agencies responsible for our transit needs to get together and come up with a comprehensive transportation plan for the region that will actually work. This is important because Amtrak has decided to build its own tunnel due to the fact that the ARC tunnel does not meet any of its needs. The New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund is broke and no money is available for cost overruns. That should be incentive for New Jersey Transit to work with Amtrak to fit the ARC Tunnel in with the Amtrak Capital Plan.

The Sierra Cub thanks the Christie Administration for temporarily stopping this project. We believe this break will allow us to look at the real costs of the project, fix it so it better meets the needs of the people, and save taxpayers money.

“This time out is important for the transportation needs of the region because we can come up with a comprehensive transportation plan that works and that will save the taxpayers of New Jersey money,” New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said.

In a phone conversation, Tittel tells me that his group is in favor of a transit tunnel, but feels the current plan to have the tunnel terminate a long block away from the Amtrak station is ill-advised, and that it will undermine NJ Transit's ability to lure more passengers or to run through trains from Long Island to New Jersey.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a group generally in synch with the Sierra Club on environmental issues, says it's baffled by Tittel's opposition. "By getting more people out of their cars and into automobiles, this project will help the environment," spokeswoman Veronica Vanterpool says. "We wish they were for it."

The rest of the Sierra Club's release after the jump.

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