Eighty-nine pedestrians were killed in NY’s Suffolk County between 2005 and 2007. In Brooklyn, the toll was 147. Middlesex County in NJ saw 50 deaths. Connecticut’s Fairfield County had 27. In total, 1,266 pedestrians were killed in Connecticut, New Jersey, and downstate New York during that three-year period, a devastating toll and one that is too often treated as an inevitability.
Fifteen of those fatalities were on Nassau County’s Hempstead Turnpike (Route 24) — the single most dangerous road in the tri-state region, as shown by a new TSTC analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Another Long Island road, Suffolk County’s Sunrise Highway, was the second deadliest road in that time period, with 12 fatalities.
The list of the region’s most dangerous roads includes both urban thoroughfares with heavy pedestrian and auto traffic, and busy suburban routes with high volumes of fast-moving traffic and little accommodation for pedestrians:
- Hempstead Turnpike (Route 24), Nassau County, NY — 15 fatalities
- Sunrise Highway (Route 27/39), Suffolk County, NY — 12 fatalities
- 3rd Ave., Manhattan — 10 fatalities
- Broadway, Manhattan — 10 fatalities
- Grand Central Parkway, Queens — 9 fatalities
- Hylan Blvd., Staten Island — 9 fatalities
- Whitehorse Pike (Route 80), Atlantic County, NJ — 9 fatalities
- Route 130, Burlington County, NJ — 9 fatalities
- Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn — 8 fatalities
- Route 1, Middlesex County, NJ — 8 fatalities
- Route 9, Ocean County, NJ — 8 fatalities
In many of these areas, pedestrian safety efforts are already underway. NYC Department of Transportation has implemented several programs aimed at reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities at targeted locations, including a Safe Routes for Seniors programs. Likewise, the state of New Jersey has made reducing pedestrian fatalities a statewide goal and set aside significant funding for pedestrian safety projects. The state recently revamped its methodology for awarding state and federal safety funds to target places with the greatest need.
Still, more needs to be done, especially on Long Island, where pedestrian fatality numbers remain unacceptably high.
The analysis was conducted by Michelle Ernst, TSTC staff analyst, and Michael Benediktsson, PhD candidate in sociology at Princeton University.
Several breakouts of the data are available, including the most dangerous roads in the region and in New Jersey, and fact sheets that identify the deadliest roads and the location of pedestrian fatalities in selected counties and boroughs in the region.For factsheets, visit TSTC’s website here.