Safe Routes Scoop

Pedestrian Safety Impact Teams

need to be addressed.

 

A MODEL FOR PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPACT TEAMS
The idea of forming such groups to identify and report firsthand about pedestrian safety problems on our roadways is not new. A similar tool was included in former Governor James McGreevey’s “Safety First” initiative announced in 2002. The Highway Safety Impact Team that was formed as part of this initiative was of the same mold as the Pedestrian Safety Impact Team, comprised of individuals with various backgrounds and expertise from NJDOT, NJ TRANSIT, the Federal Highway Administration, state and local law enforcement, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

The first corridor studied by the Highway Safety Impact Team was along a 10-mile stretch of Route 1, and was done in 2003.  Of the 14 identified corridors, studies have been conducted for eight that were considered most in need of improvement. The remaining six corridors either have projects already planned or have a less severe crash history, and will ultimately complete an abridged version of the process to correct problems.

 

GETTING THE TEAMS ON THE GROUND
Four Pedestrian Safety Impact Team

reports have been produced as a result of the Pedestrian Safety Corridors Program.

 

The first corridor selected by NJDOT as a part of the program is along Market and Ferry streets in Newark. A report completed in March 2007 contains crash statistics and several detailed pages of observations made at each intersection during a site visit. The detailed observations were used to develop several general observations about the corridor:

    • Crosswalks are faded at many locations
    • ADA compliant ramps are missing at many locations
    • Existing crosswalks are misaligned with curb ramps at several locations
    • Pedestrian signal heads are lacking at many locations
    • Parked cars and other objects impede pedestrian flow at certain locations

     

    These observations may seem familiar to anyone who has walked through an urban area in New Jersey, but they are serious issues that can make crossing an intersection a dangerous task. For instance, parked cars and faded crosswalks inhibit the ability of drivers to recognize pedestrians trying to cross in front of them.

     

     

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