These Roads Weren’t Made for Walking

7 Mar

This week the Tri-State Transportation Campaign released its annual “Region’s Most Dangerous Roads for Walking” report, and things aren’t looking great for the Garden State. For the fourth year in a row, Route 130 had the highest number of fatalities. Between 2008 and 2010, 10 pedestrians were killed on that route, with the majority of the fatalities occurring between Burlington Township and Delran, according to the study.

Other New Jersey routes topping the list were Route 1 & 9 in Union County, and US-1 in Middlesex County.

“All three of these roads are arterials–roads designed to move vehicles with little regard for the safety of pedestrians or bicyclists who also use them,” said Janna Chernetz, New Jersey advocate for the Campaign, in a press release. “This type of planning has fatal consequences.”

In the three years between 2008 and 2010, 435 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s roadways. While the number of pedestrian deaths decreased in 2010 from 158 fatalities to 139, recently-released 2011 data from the New Jersey Department of Transportation show a slight increase in pedestrian fatalities.

The analysis found that the state’s most dangerous roads for walking over the three-year period from 2008-2010, ranked by highest number of fatalities were:

  • US-130 (Burlington Pike), Burlington County: 10
  • Route 1&9, Union County: 9
  • US-1, Middlesex County: 7
  • Route 35, Middlesex County: 6
  • Route 28 (North Ave, Front St, Westfield Ave), Union County: 6
  • US-46, Morris County: 6
  • US‐322/40 (Black Horse Pike, Albany Ave), Atlantic County: 6
  • US-9, Monmouth County: 5
  • Route 36, Monmouth County: 5
  • White Horse Pike (US-30), Camden County: 5
  • Route 22, Somerset County: 5
  • Route 9, Ocean County: 5

The Campaign applauded efforts that are already underway to improve safety on the state’s roadways, including NJDOT’s 2009 Complete Streets policy that requires transportation planners and engineers to consider all potential users of a roadway, including pedestrians and bicyclists, in the design of a new or significantly retrofitted road. The New Jersey Department of Transportation is currently creating a complete streets curriculum that will be presented around the state. In addition, the Campaign highlighted the state’s five-year Pedestrian Safety Initiative, a multi-agency program that uses enforcement, engineering and education approaches to address pedestrian safety.

The report goes on to encourage all of the state’s municipalities and counties to adopt local Complete Streets policies. The City of Trenton did just that last week; it joins a growing list of towns and counties who are making a commitment to improving roadway safety for all users, not just cars.

The Campaign’s analysis was based on recently-released data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The analysis excludes Interstates and other roads where pedestrians are prohibited. Federal data was not available for pedestrian injuries, many of which occur in urban areas like Newark, Trenton, and Camden. County fact sheets showing the most dangerous routes for walking are also available. The fact sheets also include an interactive Google Map showing the locations of each pedestrian fatality, with descriptive details for each victim killed on the county’s most dangerous route or routes. The full report, as well as county fact sheets and Google Maps can be found here.

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