An emerging report reveals that Long Island is home to some of the most dangerous roads for pedestrians with a number of its roads linked to high numbers of pedestrian deaths.
The analysis, conducted by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, found that half of the metropolitan area’s 10 most dangerous roads for pedestrians are on Long Island and include Nassau County’s Hempstead Turnpike, said Newsday. In fact, Hempstead Turnpike is the region’s most dangerous thoroughfare, according to the report. The report reviewed pedestrian fatalities in downstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Four Long Island arterials—Hempstead Turnpike and Sunrise Highway, located in Nassau County, as well as Route 25/Jericho Turnpike and Route 110 in Suffolk County—ranked among the top five most dangerous roads for pedestrians, said Newsday. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a transportation policy watchdog, released its yearly assessment after reviewing federal data from 2009 through 2011 for pedestrian-vehicle crashes. The research, said Newsday, did not consider roads by traffic volume.
For the fifth time since 2008, Hempstead Turnpike was ranked the number one worst road. In 2009, alone, six deaths were recorded; five deaths were recorded in 2010 and three in 2011 on the 16-mile road, noted Newsday. Manhattan’s Broadway saw 12 deaths in that same period and ranked second on the list. In 2011, eight pedestrians were killed on Jericho Turnpike, representing the highest number of deaths on any road in the region for any year in the three-year period, said Newsday, citing the study.
Jericho Turnpike was ranked as the deadliest road in Suffolk County and the third deadliest in the tri-state area with 11 deaths from 2009-2011, said LongIsland.com. Jericho Turnpike rose six spots since last year.
Newsday pointed out that the deadliest roads for pedestrians are like many of those found on Long Island—wide and busy—and designed to move traffic as quickly as possible and, in many cases, through very populated areas. “Almost 60 percent of pedestrian deaths in the region occur on multilane thoroughfares, though they make up just 15 percent of the roads,” Ryan Lynch, the campaign’s Long Island-born associate director, told Newsday.
New York State transportation department spokesman, Beau Duffy, told Newsday that the agency is looking at creating safety programs for entire road “corridors” and specific intersections.
“We are saddened that our region continues to be plagued by many dangerous roadways that are unsafe for residents of all ages, customers and workers in our local communities,” Eric Alexander, executive director of the non-profit community-building program Vision Long Island, told LongIsland.com. “This report once again points to the need to move quickly to fund complete streets projects and enhance pedestrian safety.”
The report found that in the tri-state area, 1,242 pedestrians were killed between 2009-2011; nearly 200 of those deaths occurred on Long Island: 84 in Nassau County and 110 Suffolk County, said LongIsland.com.