New Analysis Identifies Most Dangerous Roads for Bicyclists in Northern New Jersey Counties

Although some Northern New Jersey communities are working hard to make their streets safer for cyclists, many roads remain perilous for those on two wheels. TSTC’s new analysis, Northern New Jersey’s Most Dangerous Roads for Biking, highlights the 19,551 bicycle (bicycle and vehicle) crashes in 13 Northern New Jersey counties (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren) that occurred from 2001 through 2011. Of these, 81 were confirmed fatal. The analysis supplements the 2011 TSTC report, Southern New Jersey’s Most Dangerous Roads for Biking.

Hudson County tops the list with a crash rate of 3.95 per 10,000 residents, followed by Union County (3.71) and Monmouth County (3.33). The analysis uses data from NJDOT’s Crash Records and ranks the counties using average yearly numbers of bicycle crashes and average yearly county population.

The following table lists the rankings and rates:

Rank County Average Yearly Bicycle Crashes, 2001-2011 Average Yearly County Population, 2001-2011 Average Yearly Crash Rate per 10,000 Residents, 2001-2011

1

Hudson

239

606,199

3.95

2

Union

195

526,143

3.71

3

Monmouth

212

636,612

3.33

4

Passaic

159

492,363

3.24

5

Mercer

111

362,077

3.07

6

Bergen

270

892,515

3.03

7

Essex

224

780,735

2.86

8

Middlesex

173

782,293

2.21

9

Somerset

69

316,620

2.18

10

Morris

81

484,373

1.67

11

Warren

16

108,565

1.46

12

Hunterdon

14

128,213

1.06

13

Sussex

14

149,803

0.92

All Northern New Jersey

1,777

6,266,511

2.84

The analysis calls attention to the dangerous design of roadways throughout the state that puts bicyclists in harm’s way. Many of the most dangerous places for bicyclists in Northern New Jersey are arterial roads, which are typically wide with two or more travel lanes in each direction, travel speeds of at least 40 mph, and little to no bicycle or pedestrian infrastructure such as bike lanes or crosswalks.

The state, counties and municipalities are working to improve many of these dangerous roadways. In December 2009, the New Jersey Department of Transportation passed a Complete Streets policy that requires new or rehabilitated roads to be built for all users, including walkers, cyclists, transit riders and drivers. Additionally, NJDOT has launched a new complete streets website and conducted twelve workshops for municipal, county and agency leaders on this road design. To date, over 40 municipalities, including Hoboken, Jersey City and West Windsor, and three counties, including Mercer, have adopted policies.

TSTC’s press release highlights some of the challenges facing the implementation of bicycle and pedestrian projects in New Jersey. Federal dollars decreased by roughly 30 percent in MAP-21, the recently passed federal transportation law. While NJDOT has yet to release details on how it will use federal MAP-21 funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects, the share of funding in NJDOT’s capital program going toward bicycle and pedestrian projects decreased from 3 percent in FY2012 to 2.3 percent in FY2013.

The Campaign urges  NJDOT, county and municipal governments to prioritize bicycle safety projects in capital budgets and encourages counties and municipalities across the state to adopt Complete Streets policies with clear goals (and funds) for implementation.

County fact sheets and online maps can be found at http://tstc.org/njbiking.    

 

Bookmark and Share

3 comments to New Analysis Identifies Most Dangerous Roads for Bicyclists in Northern New Jersey Counties

  • Excellent work once again Tri-State. Very interesting to see that the crash rate seems to correlate perfectly with the population density of each county.

    Also, it’s amazing to see that almost all the crashes are on arterial roadways whether that was in Essex County or Hunterdon and all the others. This is something that most experienced cyclists know instinctively and avoid those roadways whenever possible even in the most sparsely populated parts of the state.

    I think this report is solid evidence that two things need to happen to make bicycle riding in New Jersey much more safe:

    1 – When at all possible efforts must be made to make these arterial roadways safe for cycling whether that be bike lanes, road-diets, cycletracks, etc. There a numerous four-lane roadways in the state that could very easily be put on a road diet and bike lanes installed. The traffic volume simply doesn’t warrant the need for four lanes on many of these roadways.

    2 – Wherever practicable, bicycle routes should be created that guide cyclists off of the arterial roadways and onto safer tertiary and residential roadways. New Jersey, unlike most other states, has great interconnected residential and tertiary roadway network. Experienced cyclists know this and use it to safely navigate around the state. A well marked, MUTCD compliant routing network could aid newer cyclists to find safer routes off the major arterials whiles still reaching their final destinations.

  • Max Power

    Is total population the correct stat to use as the denominator in these calculation? Since the rates of cycling vary among the counties, shouldn’t the number of daily cyclists be used instead?

  • This is really interesting, You’re a quite competent digg. We’ve become a member of a person’s rss and look to while in the hunt for additional of the spectacular article. In addition, We’ve contributed your web site during my social networks

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>