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LI Routes 25, 24 tied for most pedestrian deaths in region

Route 25, also known as Middle Country Road

Route 25, also known as Middle Country Road in Selden, is shown on left in Suffolk County. On right, Hempstead Turnpike, also known as Route 24, is pictured in East Meadow in Nassau County. These two roads were tied for having the most pedestrian deaths in the metropolitan area in an annual survey released Wednesday, April 6, 2016, by a transportation advocacy group. Credit: Newsday Staff

Route 25 in Suffolk County and Route 24 in Nassau were tied for having the most pedestrian deaths in a survey of downstate roads released Wednesday by a transportation advocacy group.

There were a total of 12 pedestrian deaths on each of those roads within their respective counties in the three-year period from 2012 through 2014, according to the analysis by the nonprofit Tri-State Transportation Campaign. From 2011 to 2013, there were 20 deaths on Route 25 and 11 deaths on Route 24.

Route 25 — also known as Jericho Turnpike, Middle Country Road and Main Street at various stretches — had been ranked first last year and the year before, and Route 24, also known as Hempstead Turnpike, had been ranked second last year.

The study recorded pedestrian deaths on state, county and local roads, but not on interstate highways, where pedestrians are prohibited. The analysis did not factor in the length of the roadway, traffic volume or other factors.

Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn and Queens Boulevard in Queens were tied for second this year with 11 fatalities in the three-year span, the report said. The Grand Concourse in the Bronx had 10 fatalities, and all other roadways were in the single digits.

Other Long Island roads with more than five fatalities included Routes 25A and 27 in Suffolk and Route 27 and Merrick Road in Nassau.

Many of the Long Island roads cited in the report are maintained by the statement Department of Transportation.

The state DOT said in response to the report that it was “making more bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements across the state than ever before.”

“Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility. Both motorists and pedestrians need to use good judgment and make smart decisions to protect themselves and others,” the statement said.

There were 782 pedestrian deaths in the downstate area in the most recent three-year period, a 6.8 percent increase from the 732 recorded in the group’s report last year.

There were 116 deaths in Suffolk during the most recent period, and 94 in Nassau. In the previous period, between 2011 and 2013, there were 130 deaths in Suffolk and 90 in Nassau, the group said.

“The drop in fatalities in Suffolk is a good sign, but more concentrated safety projects are needed throughout the county,” Veronica Vanterpool, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said in a statement.

As it has in past reports, the group noted that about 15 percent of the total lane miles in the tri-state region are arterials, meaning they have multiple lanes, and often have speed limits of 40 mph or more with little pedestrian and bicycle-safety features.

Yet these arterial roads account for about half the pedestrian fatalities, the group said.

“It’s time to consider speed limits and adding curb extension to calm speeding on these arterials,” Vanterpool said.

The group recommended several changes to improve pedestrian safety, including:

  • Dedicate a minimum of $100 million in state funds to pedestrian and bicycling projects over the next five years.
  • Give localities the power to lower speed limits.
  • Have New York City contribute at least $250 million annually to fix its most dangerous streets and corridors.
  • Allow localities greater flexibility in road design.


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