PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: October 28, 2008
Contact:
Kate Slevin, Zoe Baldwin - Tri-State Transportation Campaign
(212) 268-7474

New Report Identifies New Jersey's Most Dangerous Roads for Pedestrians

Suburban routes top the list and point to need for redesigning roads with pedestrians in mind

New Jersey’s most dangerous roads for pedestrians are Whitehorse Pike (Rt 30) in Atlantic County and Route 130 in Burlington County, according to a new analysis by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a policy watchdog organization.

Between 2005 and 2007, 9 pedestrians were killed on each of those two routes, with most of the fatalities occurring where the highways pass through relatively busy suburban areas such as Pomona and Cinnaminson.

“In New Jersey, the most dangerous roads are major suburban roadways dotted with retail destinations but designed exclusively for fast-moving car traffic,” said Michelle Ernst, staff analyst with the Campaign. “Roads like Whitehorse Pike and Route 130 are perfect examples of that type of road.”

The analysis found the state’s most dangerous roads for walking over the three-year period were:

Rank

Roadway

Pedestrian Fatalities (2005-2007)

1

Whitehorse Pike (Route 30), Atlantic County

9

2

Route 130, Burlington County

9

3

US 1, Middlesex County

8

3

US 9, Ocean County

8

5

US 40, Atlantic County

7

5

US 9, Middlesex County

7

7

Route 507, Bergen County

6

7

US 9, Monmouth County

6

7

Route 549, Ocean County

6

7

US 1, Union County

6

The group hopes that this new analysis will help state and local leaders determine where improvements are most needed.

“We hope that our analysis will serve as a resource to transportation planners, elected officials and community advocates.” said Zoe Baldwin, New Jersey Coordinator for the Campaign. “We need to do more to reduce these tragic deaths.”

The group applauded efforts that are already underway to improve safety in many of these corridors.  The state of New Jersey has made reducing pedestrian fatalities a statewide goal and sets aside significant funding for pedestrian safety projects.  NJDOT’s new Safe Corridors was established to improve pedestrian safety along especially dangerous roads.  And the state recently revamped its methodology for awarding state and federal safety funds to target places with the greatest need. 

“While we have made some progress, these numbers clearly show that we aren’t out of the woods yet. With more people looking for transportation choices, we have to step up efforts to design more balanced, walkable streets,” said Kate Slevin, the Campaign’s executive director.

The Campaign’s analysis was conducted by Ernst and Michael Benediktsson, a Princeton University PhD candidate in sociology. The two used recently released data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to determine which routes within each county had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities over the three-year period from 2005 to 2007. The analysis excludes Interstates and other roads where pedestrians are prohibited. 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 a 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 can be found at www.tstc.org/reports.html

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The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working toward a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.