Roughly 200 pedestrians were killed on Long Island streets from 2010 to 2012, according to “The Region’s Most Dangerous Roads for Walking,” a report produced by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a non-profit organization committed to decreasing pedestrian fatalities. Eighty-eight died on Nassau County streets.
In Nassau, Route 24 (Hempstead Turnpike and Fulton and Conklin avenues) had the highest number of pedestrian deaths, with 12, according to the three-year study. Route 27 (Sunrise Highway) came in second, with eight. And Merrick Road was third, with seven.
The report excludes interstates, highways and other roads where pedestrians are prohibited to ensure an accurate report of fatalities on walkable roads.
The New York State Department of Transportation recently implemented several improvements along Hempstead Turnpike to improve the thoroughfare for pedestrians. Adjustments include extended timers, new painted crosswalks and raised medians to help calm traffic.
A number of large institutions are located on Hempstead Turnpike, an east-west state road that runs across Nassau, from Suffolk to Queens counties. Among the institutions are Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale and Hofstra University in Hempstead, which features enclosed pedestrian bridges over the turnpike.
Ryan Lynch, associate director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said Hempstead Turnpike is designed to move cars as quickly as possible from point A to point B.
Seniors face greatest danger
Robert Chapman Sr., 81, was killed on April 22 while walking to work at the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Gardiners Avenue in Levittown, where road improvements were made. He was hit by a 1991 Chevrolet Geo Prism and died at the scene. The driver, James Taggart, 43, was charged with driving while intoxicated on April 23. Taggart, of Levittown, pleaded not guilty to DWI and was released on $7,500 bail, according to officials. He is due back in court on May 20.