A car turning.

A car turning. Credit: iStock

With the clocks turned back an hour, it’s getting dark earlier, and we’re reminded of the importance of safe and well-designed streets and crosswalks.

One of every five children under 14 killed in traffic crashes in 2013 was a pedestrian, and one of every five pedestrian fatalities was an older adult.

Unsurprisingly, a 2014 AARP survey found that 61 percent of Long Island voters age 50 and older said traffic lights are timed too fast for safe pedestrian crossing. Another 61 percent called sidewalks too narrow, poorly lit, in need of repair or nonexistent. Nearly three-quarters said cars not yielding to pedestrians are a problem.

AARP thanks Reps. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) for seeking to remedy this unacceptable situation. Their voices were critical in making pedestrian safety improvements to the transportation bill recently voted out of the House Transportation Committee. Now we need Congress to finish its work on a long-term transportation bill with strong pedestrian safety measures.

Beth Finkel


Editor’s note: The writer is the state director of AARP for New York.