Why are so many Long Island streets dangerous for pedestrians?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Personal Injury |

As summer brings out more pedestrians here on Long Island, it’s important to note that – as in too many other areas across the country – many of our streets are not as safe as they need to be. 

In fact, this spring, over 100 business and other community leaders from across Long Island held a meeting to discuss the state of the roads, do a “walking audit” and talk about what can be done to make them safer as pedestrian deaths rise. Approximately 70 pedestrians lose their lives on Long Island roads every year.

“Deadly by design”

Many put the blame on design flaws. In fact, some roads in downtown areas were called “deadly by design.” The head of one non-profit said that some of the roads going through downtown areas are “the same width as highways” when they could be narrower and allow room for people to walk.

Safety advocates argue that many areas of Long Island don’t have enough safety features like traffic lights, speed cameras, medians, more crosswalks and even speed bumps. Some said that even where there are crosswalks, there’s often not enough time to get across. One person said that Long Island has “an abysmal patchwork of sidewalks.”

“Simple fixes”

One design consultant said, “You can bring the sidewalk into the road, shortening the crossing distance for pedestrians. You can create a median in the middle….Simple fixes that we know work.”

Some noted the link between the prosperity of businesses in these downtown areas and how safe people feel walking there.  However, that’s going to require a financial investment.

Poor design – or at least road designs that aren’t pedestrian friendly – can certainly lead to pedestrian injuries and deaths. However, in many cases, they result from a driver being reckless, negligent, distracted and/or impaired. If you or a loved one has been injured or worse, it’s crucial to hold the appropriate party(ies) liable in order to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other economic losses as well as non-economic damages.