In 2008, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign issued a report identifying the top ten deadliest roads for pedestrians in our state of New Jersey as well as additional dangerous roads for pedestrians throughout the state. The two roads that topped the list included Route 30 located in Atlantic County and Route 130 in Burlington County. According to the report, 18 people lost their lives on these two roads alone between 2005 and 2007. Additional roads that made up the top ten deadliest pedestrian roads included the stretch of Route 1 in Middlesex and Union County as well as Route 9 in Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex Counties.
The report also identified the ten most dangerous roads for pedestrians in our surrounding area. Manhattan was listed twice on this list with 3rd Avenue and Broadway being the location of 20 pedestrian fatalities between 2005 and 2007. Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island, New York and the Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County, New York were responsible for an additional 22 deaths in that same timeframe. The Heampstead Turnpike in Nassau County topped the list with 15 pedestrian deaths in those three years.
Our firm headquarters is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey whose roads resulted in 29 pedestrian fatalities between 2005 and 2007. In the report, Route 9 was identified as the most dangerous road for pedestrians. Route 9 is well known for its retail centers which make for a dangerous mix of pedestrians on foot and fast moving motor vehicles. This brings up a larger problem of inadequate sidewalk systems throughout the state. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign also released another report in 2008 covering the substantial disparity between requested township funding for new sidewalks and bikeways compared to approved funding. Going back to our county of Monmouth, only the township of Atlantic Highlands received requested funding for improved sidewalk and bikeway systems in 2008. The remaining county requested over $1 million dollars to improve their sidewalks and bikeways which were not approved.
In 2007, numerous boroughs and townships in Monmouth County also requested funding as part of the 2007 Federal Safe Routes to School Program. The Safe Routes to School program is a federal program that he been formed to create walking and bicycling ways to schools safer and a more routine activity. Of the $6.3 million requested, only approximately 4 percent of that was approved.
Denial of funding for the Federal Safe Routes to School Program and similar programs has been common across the state. Middlesex County requested close to $2 million in funding from the 2008 State Bikeways Program to better their bikeway systems, of which zero was approved. Essex County also requested funds from the same program and only approximately 16 percent of the requested funding was approved. Middlesex and Essex Counties experienced 32 pedestrian fatalities between them and an additional 3 cyclist fatalities in 2007.
While New Jersey’s pedestrian and bicyclist fatality rate is alarming, 2005 statistics showed 8 states with more pedestrians killed than the garden state including New York and Pennsylvania which experienced 480 deaths between them. California topped the list in 2005 with an alarming 742 pedestrian deaths followed by Florida and Texas. Pedestrian fatalities made up approximately 17 percent of the total traffic deaths in the state of California. While New Jersey’s pedestrian fatality numbers were smaller than these states, pedestrian deaths still made up over 20 percent of the total traffic deaths in 2005. The United States experienced over 43,000 traffic fatalities in 2005, of which almost 5,000 were of pedestrians.