Eliminating pedestrian and bicycle crashes on Long Island requires an all hands on deck approach for those actively working to create safer, more accessible streets and trails. We all need to work together and make certain that our needs are represented at all planning and local government meetings to ensure road construction projects adhere to Complete Streets, that educational opportunities are realized and that law enforcement remain partners and vigilant to protect the most vulnerable road users. We all must work together.
This week at their annual Complete Streets Summit, Vision Long Island released the top 20 hotspots for pedestrian and bicycle crashes on Long Island, using 2014-2016 data. Vision LI director Eric Alexander says there are easy things that can be done on roads to improve safety. "We're looking at medians, street trees, better crosswalks, better signal timing, better lighting," said Alexander. "There are whole sorts of design treatments to the physical presence of the road to bring the motor speed down and also encourage pedestrians to cross at the right locations." (source: New12). Very true statement! These quick and easy treatments were exactly what the state was looking to fund during the last round of PSAP funding (pt 2, local roads) opportunities. The deadline passed and we received an update last week that the municipalities and locations receiving the local roads funding will be announced VERY soon.
In addition to road design, education and enforcement strategies must not be overlooked. While better street designs save lives, we cannot overlook the critical role of education and law enforcement. We would encourage future Complete Street Summits to include the injury prevention specialists, professionals in traffic safety and educators who are actively engaging with seniors, children, people with disabilities and underserved communities to help boost healthy communities and decrease injuries and fatalities. We have over a half dozen organizations working on saving lives while boosting healthy communities, but not all are well versed in engineering concepts just as not all planners are not well versed in how to stop a bleeding injury at a crash scene. And how many know actual V&T law or pending legislative priorities? We could learn much from each other! Again, all hands on deck - we cannot address Long Islands abysmal numbers until we start working together.
The Nassau County & Suffolk County Crash Maps, created by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, highlight injuries and fatalities between 2014-2016. These maps were part of their We're Walking (and Biking) Here! analysis released September 2017.