For immediate release:
DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP – The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a regional transportation policy watchdog group, joined Action Wheels Bike Shop, area residents and Woodbury Mayor Harry R. Riskie today to highlight the dangerous conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists on three Gloucester County Roads, and offered solutions to make non-motorized travel safer throughout the area.
Volunteers conducted pedestrian and bicyclist safety audits at three locations in Woodbury, Wenonah and Mantua Township in an effort to formulate effective ways to address specific local pedestrian and bicyclist safety problems.
Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s most recent analysis of dangerous roads shows that between 2007 and 2009, 13 Gloucester County pedestrians were killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, while statewide, pedestrians 60 years of age and above were nearly twice as likely to be killed in accidents with automobiles during this same period.
Recent Tri-State Transportation Campaign analysis also shows that between 2008 and 2010 , 177 Gloucester County bicyclists were involved in accidents with automobiles, with 7 of these individuals losing their lives. During this same period, 16 bicyclists were involved in accidents on Route 45 in Gloucester County alone.
"Local residents of all ages walk and bike on Gloucester County roads, such as Route 45, but many of these thoroughfares weren’t constructed with their needs in mind. Whether for recreation or to reach places of employment, it is essential that improvements are made to these area roadways to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to travel more safely" said Matthew Norris, Tri-State Transportation Campaign's South Jersey Advocate.
Some problems identified by the surveys include:
Survey participants and Tri-State Transportation Campaign will use the data collected to call on Gloucester County to make significant pedestrian and bicyclist-focused improvements on area roads.
Results from the surveys will also be compiled into a comprehensive report that will aid in efforts to work with local leaders to improve opportunities for walking and bicycling. The report will demonstrate how changes such as better sidewalks, continuous shoulders, bicycle lanes, safer crosswalks and other traffic calming measures would allow a greater number of area residents to walk or ride bikes as a primary mode of transportation or for leisure purposes more safely.
Norris said, "By adding continuous sidewalks and providing space for bicyclists, safety for all would be greatly increased, and Gloucester County could show its commitment toward accommodating all road users."
Patty Woodworth, owner of Action Wheels Bike Shop and a Mantua Township resident, said, “My husband and I encourage our children to walk and ride bicycles, but it is difficult to feel safe with our children, as area roads are traffic-filled and don't have shoulders or sidewalks. Kids should be able to safely recreate and adults should be able to safely run errands upwards of two miles from home without driving a car. It's important for us to make changes so that this is possible.”
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working toward a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.