More than 1,100 pedestrians were injured or killed in collisions in Fairfield County between 2010 and 2012 and one regional transportation group says road planners and political leaders in the region should do more to make the roads safe for walkers and bicyclists.
The New York-based Tri-State Transportation Campaign says that during that three-year there were 1,022 crashes in Fairfield County involving pedestrians, resulting in 1,077 injuries to pedestrians and 34 deaths.
“Pedestrian crashes are practically a daily occurrence in Fairfield County, but they don’t have to be,” said Steven Higashide, a senior planner for the campaign, said in a statement. “If state and local leaders cooperate to redesign the most dangerous roads, they can drive these numbers down.”
The group says that Route 1, a fast-moving thoroughfare that cuts through the region under many different street names, is the most dangerous road for pedestrians. The group says there were 169 crashes on the road from 2010 to 2012, resulting in 152 pedestrian injuries and six deaths.
Earlier this month, the group put out an analysis of pedestrian deaths in Connecticut and said that Route 1 was the most dangerous road by that measurement, with 11 deaths statewide.
The transportation campaign is calling on state and local governments to put a larger portion of road construction dollars toward things like crosswalks, bike lanes and pedestrian islands to make roads safer. They also want more studies of busy roads like Route 1 and for state legislators to pass a law that would fine careless drivers who injure pedestrians and cyclists.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said in a statement from the group that said local police are stepping up traffic enforcement and educating pedestrians to make the streets safer, and the city is working with the state to manage traffic on busy state-owned roads running through Bridgeport.
“As we work toward a more walkable, sustainable city, improving safety for pedestrians is among our highest priorities,” he said.
Fairfield County’s largest municipalities also had some of its highest rates of pedestrian crashes. The chart below, provided by the group shows the yearly number of crashes per 10,000 residents in each city or town between 2010 and 2012: