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New Study Says Pedestrians – QNS.com

New Study Says Pedestrians

If your doctor tells you to take a brisk walk everyday, be extra careful if you live in Jamaica, because a report issued by Transportation Alternatives [TA] says that sections of that neighborhood have Queens highest pedestrian traffic accident rate.
This data is part of a detailed traffic analysis covering Queens pedestrian deaths and injuries between 1995 and 2001, based on data from the city Department of Transportation (DOT).
The report indicates that over 18,000 pedestrians were injured and nearly 300 were killed at nearly 8,200 corners and mid-block sites in the borough. The casualty rate showed that an average of 50 pedestrians per week were either killed or injured in Queens during this seven-year period.
Using post office zip codes to describe the area, the report named zip codes 11385 (Glendale) and 11377 (Sunnyside) as the second and third most dangerous areas for pedestrians. A detailed site-by-site mapped accident report can be accessed via www.crashstat.org.
The key to the high accident rate in Queens are the heavily-traveled arteries that link motorists from Long Island, New England, and upstate New York with Manhattan. At least six of the 10 high-accident areas are bunched around Queens and Northern Boulevards, the Long Island Expressway, the eastern half of the Grand Central Parkway, and other busy roadways.
"It doesnt surprise anyone that the higher the volume of traffic in a particular area, greater risks are posed to pedestrians and motorists," said Councilmember John Liu, chairman of the Council Transportation Committee. He called for increased reliance on improved innovations in pedestrian safeguarding systems on city streets, as well as increased reliance on mass transit.
Traffic engineers estimate that over one million cars and trucks drive over Queens 2,443 miles of streets during an average day. However, an increasing number of vehicles are driving through to local destinations, according to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who heads the Queens Highway Traffic Safety Committee, New Yorks only government-funded safety agency.
Despite the bad news, TA praised the city DOT because it has "made significant pedestrian safety improvements on Queens Boulevard." Although accidents peaked in 1995 on the "Boulevard of Death," innovations funded by Marshall have significantly reduced traffic casualties during succeeding years.
LaGuardia Airport and Breezy Point were listed as the postal zones with the fewest pedestrian accidents, and Little Neck was posted as the safest year-round residential community in Queens.
Victor Ross is a freelance writer.

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