The intersection of Poplar Street and the Hempstead Turnpike in...

The intersection of Poplar Street and the Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead where a fatal hit and run occurred. (Jun. 16, 2011) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Design issues and human error make Hempstead Turnpike Long Island's most dangerous road for pedestrians -- far more deadly than Sunrise Highway, Hillside Avenue or Jericho Turnpike.

Six lanes wide in most places, the 16-mile thoroughfare slices through the downtowns of Elmont, Franklin Square and Hempstead Village and the hubs of suburban commerce in East Meadow, Levittown, Wantagh and Farmingdale.

Portions of the roadway have led the state and watchdog groups' lists of high-accident danger zones for both drivers and pedestrians. Some changes have been made, including the addition of countdown clocks for pedestrians, but some call for comprehensive redesigns as the deadly conflict between cars and pedestrians continues to play out.

Newsday in this investigation examines the human toll, contributing factors for danger and some proposed solutions.

This special report was reported and written by Keith Herbert and Jennifer Maloney. An interactive database for these reports was compiled by Kathy Diamond.
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