Active transportation is important, but so is safety, and there are some roads that should be avoided until improvements can be made to make them safer for non-auto users. A new analysis by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) has identified the deadliest roads in New Jersey for pedestrians. This year, Route 130 is tied with the Black Horse Pike in Atlantic County and Route 1 in Middlesex County. Looking at federal data from 2009 to 2011, it includes factsheets and online maps that identify the locations of pedestrian fatalities and the age and gender of those killed.
The report found that about 60 percent of pedestrian deaths in New Jersey were on arterial, or main roads, such as Route 130, Routes 1&9 and Route 1 — even though they only make up about 15 percent of roads in the region. TSTC pointed out that arterial roads are typically magnets for big box stores and other businesses, but improvements for pedestrians don’t always come with those new businesses.
In GMTMA’s region, 19 pedestrians were killed on Mercer County roads in the time period studied. US-206, Route 31, Route 653 and Route 129 had the highest number of pedestrian deaths. In Ocean County, 38 pedestrians were killed on Ocean County roads; Route 9, Route 37 and Route 88 had the highest number of pedestrian deaths over the period studied.
As TSTC concluded in its report, complete streets, which are designed and operated to enable safe access for all roadway users, can help make our streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike. GMTMA can help your community “complete the streets.” We can facilitate informational presentations, provide templates for policy resolutions and assist in drafting policy resolutions, help create an implementation plan, assist with identification of grant funding and documentation of policy for Sustainable Jersey certification, and more.
Additionally, GMTMA offers free pedestrian safety programs for both senior citizens and school children. For seniors, we provide free pedestrian safety programs geared specifically to older adults at senior centers, senior housing and other community facilities. The program helps seniors identify the situations that pose the greatest risk for injury and how to become defensive walkers. For school children, GMTMA is the local arm of the federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, where we provide programs on the ground to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school. Contact us today!