In the Feb. 5 article, "Black Horse Pike, White Horse Pike among deadliest roadways for South Jersey pedestrians," local officials state that the high numbers of pedestrian fatalities on area roads are due to careless pedestrians and drivers.
It's true that all road users must exercise caution when crossing the street, but pedestrians can never be truly safe on high-speed roads that weren't built with their needs in mind.
The White Horse Pike, Black Horse Pike and Route 47 are home to numerous restaurants, businesses and bus stops that attract shoppers and workers. However, in many places, these roadways lack continuous sidewalks, pedestrian countdown timers and crosswalks that are placed at reasonable distances from one another.
In recognition of these safety problems, the New Jersey Department of Transportation installed 5,000 feet of sidewalk on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township in 2011. However, to truly protect pedestrians, these roads must be transformed into safe boulevards with crosswalks and wide pedestrian islands. Elected officials and agency leaders have to find the political will and money for these life-saving projects. These changes would help to make it safe, and even pleasurable to travel on foot and would encourage the kind of walk-able development that has sustained business corridors in Hammonton and Cape May. Such overhauls would save lives and promote economic growth in the region.
South Jersey Advocate
Tri-State Transportation Campaign