PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release:

February 9, 2011

Contact:
Kate Slevin, Michelle Ernst
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
(212) 268-7474

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

More Local Aid is needed to make roads safer for the state’s bicyclists and pedestrians

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 2007 and 2009, 10 pedestrians were killed on that route, with most of the fatalities occurring where the roadway passes through relatively busy suburban areas such as Cinnaminson and Delran.

“For three years in a row, the Burlington Pike continues to be New Jersey’s most dangerous road,” said Kate Slevin, executive director for the Campaign. “With three lanes in each direction, a speed limit of 50 mph along most of the route, and dotted with retail destinations, the Burlington Pike is a perfect example of the dangerous suburban thoroughfares we’ve found to be most deadly for pedestrians.”

At least three additional pedestrians have been killed on the Burlington Pike in the latter half of 2010. A concrete Jersey barrier bisects much of the route to discourage pedestrians from crossing. But with crosswalks spaced as much as a half-mile apart, even normally cautious pedestrians risk the traffic by crossing mid-block.

Other New Jersey routes topping the list were Blackhorse Pike in Atlantic county, Route 1 in Middlesex County, Route 549 in Ocean County, and Route 1&9 in Union County. Like the Burlington Pike, each of these roads is a wide, high-speed arterial lined with shopping centers and offices.

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

Rank

Roadway

Pedestrian Fatalities (2007-2009)

1

US-130 (Burlington Pike/Bordentown Rd), Burlington County

10

2

US-322/40 (Blackhorse Pike/Albany Ave), Atlantic County

7

2

US-1, Middlesex County

7

2

Route 549, Ocean County

7

2

US-1&9, Union County

7

6

US-30 (White Horse Pike/Absecon Blvd), Atlantic County

6

6

SR-21 (McCarter Hwy), Essex County

6

6

John F Kennedy Blvd, Hudson County

6

6

Route 35, Middlesex County

6

6

Route 28 (North Ave/Front St/Westfield Ave), Union County

6

11

US-9, Monmouth County

5

11

US-9, Ocean County

5

The group hopes that this new analysis will encourage state and local leaders to press for increased funding for pedestrian and bicycling projects. In particular, legislators should ensure increased funding for the Local Aid program as proposals for the Transportation Trust Fund reauthorization are debated. 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.

“Having stable transportation funding will save lives,” Slevin said. “Even with limited resources, the New Jersey Department of Transportation can step up efforts to design more balanced, walkable streets.”

According to Rev. Ethel Gaylord, a leader of the New Jersey Regional Coalition and Executive Director of Mizpah Inland Human Services in Hamilton Township in Atlantic County, “For decades, instead of investing in these communities and making them safer and more livable we have poured billions into new highways and more sprawl. It's time we invest in our older communities and corridors to support the diverse families and communities along these routes, to help the business and industries that rely on these roads, and to create badly needed jobs while investing in our future."

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.  NJDOT’s new Safe Corridors program 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.

In late 2009, the New Jersey Department of Transportation adopted an internal 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.

“We applaud the New Jersey DOT for adopting a comprehensive complete streets policy,” said John Boyle, Advocacy Director for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “However we will not declare the policy change a success until we start seeing the results on the ground.”

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. Federal 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/reports/danger11/

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.