New Report Identifies New Jersey’s Most Dangerous Roads for Pedestrians
Suburban routes top the list, pointing to need for redesigning roads with pedestrians in mind; New easy-to-use county level maps show location of each fatality
New Jersey’s most dangerous road for pedestrians is Route 130 (Burlington Pike) in Burlington County, according to a new analysis by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a policy watchdog organization.
Between 2006 and 2008, 9 pedestrians were killed on that route, with most of the fatalities occurring where the roadway passes through relatively busy suburban areas such as Cinnaminson.
“In New Jersey, the most dangerous roads are major suburban thoroughfares dotted with retail destinations but designed exclusively for fast-moving car traffic,” said Zoe Baldwin, New Jersey with the Campaign.
The analysis found the state’s most dangerous roads for walking over the three-year period were:
The group hopes that this new analysis will help the incoming Christe administration to determine where improvements are most needed. Pedestrian safety projects can produce dramatic safety improvements (and create much-needed construction jobs) at a fraction of the cost of a typical road project.
“Pedestrian improvements offer a tremendous bang for the buck,” said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Campaign. “Even with limited resources, the New Jersey Department of Transportation can step up efforts to design more balanced, walkable streets.”
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign 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, and NJDOT recently signed a Complete Streets policy requiring that transportation planners and engineers consider all potential users of a roadway, including pedestrians and bicyclists, in the design of a new or significantly retrofitted road.
“As more and more New Jersey residents seek to live in walkable communities, this report shows that we must do more to ensure that all residents, not just drivers, can get around safely. The New Jersey Department of Transportation’s recent adoption of an internal ‘Complete Streets’ policy is a good first step, but we must make pedestrian safety a priority at all levels of government,”said Peter Kasabach, Executive Director of New Jersey Future.
A forthcoming analysis will examine who is killed as a pedestrian on New Jersey’s roadways. But preliminary findings show that the elderly and the disabled are particularly at risk.
"Disability Rights New Jersey acknowledges and appreciates that the Department of Transportation has taken a step towards ensuring pedestrian safety for people with disabilities and the elderly,” said Jennifer Halper, Senior Staff Attorney and Legislative Coordinator for DRNJ. “But there is still significant work left to make walking safe for these vulnerable populations."
The Campaign’s analysis was based on recently released data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). 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 an interactive Google 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 and Google Maps, can be found at www.tstc.org/danger.html.
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.