415 pedestrians are killed in New Jersey, downstate New York, and Connecticut each year, and in NYC upper Broadway and Atlantic Avenue are the most dangerous places to walk, according to a new study [pdf] by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. Between 2007 and 2009, there were 11 pedestrian fatalities on Broadway, with all but one of those deaths happening in northern Manhattan. The study also points out that no pedestrians were killed along stretches Broadway closed to automobile traffic as part of the Green Light for Midtown project. But at what cost? The Broadway pedestrian plazas are enraging the NY Post!
And it's not just Broadway that's bloody. Atlantic Avenue ranks fifth on the list of most dangerous roads for pedestrians in the entire region. There were eight pedestrian fatalities on Atlantic during the same time period, and eight deaths on Seventh Avenue and the Henry Hudson Parkway as well. Overall, the most dangerous road for pedestrians in the region is currently the Hempstead Parkway, where 12 died between 2007-2009, according to the report.
So what's the solution—is it feasible to ban pedestrians and require everyone to travel by car? The Campaign has a different approach in mind. They're using the report to call on the state legislature to pass “Complete Streets” legislation that has languished in Albany for nearly a year. In a statement, the Campaign explains that the legislation "would direct traffic engineers and planners to consider the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians, children, and seniors when designing a new or significantly retrofitted roadway.
"Even with limited resources, the region can step up efforts to design more balanced, walkable streets," says Kate Slevin, executive director of the Campaign. "Pedestrian improvements offer a tremendous bang for the buck." The group points out that the state DOT's SafeSeniors pilot program has already improved pedestrian safety along dangerous Main Street in Smithtown, Long Island.