Biking and Walking

Reports and Articles

The Region’s Most Dangerous Roads for Walking - This TSTC analysis identifies the most dangerous roads (those with the most pedestrian fatalities from 2006-08) and the locations and number of pedestrian fatalities for selected counties and boroughs in the tri-state region.

Older Pedestrians at Risk - This 2008 TSTC report found that older pedestrians are far more likely to be killed while walking than their younger neighbors.

Dangerous By Design - This T4America report, co-authored by TSTC's Michelle Ernst, ranks metropolitan areas based on the relative danger of walking.

Skimping on Sidewalks 2008: An Analysis of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatalities in NJ - Though pedestrian and cyclist deaths fell between 2007 and 2006, this report found that NJ has made little progress towards a 1998 goal of halving ped/bike deaths by 2010.

Recent TSTC blog posts on bicycling and pedestrian issues.

Streetsblog on bicycling and pedestrian issues.

More people walk and bicycle in the tri-state region than in any other major metropolitan area of the country. Yet, the region suffers from one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the country, with the elderly bearing a disproportionate risk. Though communities throughout the region have taken steps to make walking and bicycling a priority for transportation planning and investment, there is still a long way to go – bicycle routes are often poorly connected or nonexistent, and children do not have safe routes to walk or bike to local schools. And even where good walking and bicycling facilities are in place, lax traffic enforcement often undermines efforts to improve pedestrian and bicycling safety by failing to remove dangerous drivers from the region’s streets.

The region’s newer suburban developments often lack even the most basic walking and bicycling infrastructure (sidewalks, crosswalks, and bicycle lanes), and are criss-crossed by wide, high-speed thoroughfares that have been found to be especially dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. But New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut spend just a minuscule fraction of transportation funding on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, even as municipal demand for projects grows.

The Federal Role

Significant federal funding is available for pedestrian safety programs and projects. While nearly all federal “highway” funding can be used for bicycle and pedestrian projects, three federal funding programs specifically list improving the walking and bicycling environment as eligible activities — Transportation Enhancements, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, and the Highway Safety Improvement Program. Unfortunately, few states have taken full advantage of these federal programs for bicycling and walking projects, instead spending much of the funding on traditional transportation projects.

To boost state funding for bicycling and walking projects, Tri-State is pushing Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey to follow the Virginia DOT’s lead and pre-designate 10 percent of federal apportionments under those programs for pedestrian and bicycling projects.

 

Campaigns

Many of Tri-State's campaigns focus on biking and walking issues:

Complete Streets

Complete Streets laws and policies require traffic engineers and transportation planners to design new or retrofitted roads to accommodate the needs of all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, and people of all ages and abilities.

Senior Pedestrian Safety

Older pedestrians are especially at risk of being killed in a collision with a car or truck -- and in the tri-state region, the disparities are even greater.

Vulnerable User Laws

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is working with allies for the passage of statewide vulnerable user laws in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. These laws would stiffen penalties for drivers who kill or injure pedestrians, bicyclists, highway workers, or state troopers.

Safer Streets in Newark

The Campaign works with community groups in Newark in support of streets designed for people, not just cars. Our Newark campaigns focus on local empowerment via partnerships with community leaders and youth organizations.

"Penn For Peds"

Tri-State's "Penn for Peds" campaign aims to improve the inadequate pedestrian and bicycling conditions around NYC's Penn Station, the busiest transit hub in the country. With construction on Moynihan Station expected to begin in the coming years, the need for improved bike and pedestrian infrastructure is greater than ever. 

New Haven Safe Streets Coalition

Tri-State is a member of the New Haven Safe Streets Coalition, which raises awareness of traffic safety and builds community support for comprehensive solutions to the problem of traffic injuries and fatalities. After several pedestrian deaths, New Haven residents and officials have increasingly argued that city streets do not properly accomodate non-drivers; 45% of city residents walk, bike, carpool, or take transit to work.

 

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