Hempstead Turnpike, Sunrise Highway Among Region's Most Dangerous Roads [POLL]

Close to 30 fatalities put local roadways atop list of most dangerous roads for walking.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) recently released its list of the most deadly roads in Nassau County, with Hempstead Turnpike (Route 24), Sunrise Highway (Route 27) and Merrick Road topping the infamous list.

According to the TSTC, 27 of the 91 pedestrian deaths from 2008 to 2010 occurred on one of the three aforementioned roadways.

The TSTC's report deemed Route 24 the most dangerous road in the region, which includes downstate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The report, which was an analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, concluded that a majority of pedestrian fatalities on Route 24 occurred in Franklin Square, West Hempstead, Hempstead and East Meadow.

A total of 15 deaths were reported on Hempstead Turnpike during the three year stretch, while seven were reported on Sunrise Highway — which was ranked as the third most dangerous road in the region behind Upper Broadway in Manhattan — and five on Merrick Road.

According to William Reynolds, Director of Communications with the New York State Department of Transportation, Commissioner Joan McDonald has directed her staff to conduct traffic safety studies and implement improvements at various locations in the New York metro area.

"We have already initiated actions to improve the safety of Hempstead Turnpike," Reynolds said. "... In line with our focus on pedestrian safety, we will be taking a close look at conditions on Sunrise Highway, as we do with all major roadways, and determine what actions need to be taken. We will continue to focus on improving safety for all roadway users."

While the TSTC's report is through 2010, 2011 was not much better for the roadways. Back in April, a 63-year-old Bellmore woman was struck and killed by a police car on Merrick Road. Just two weeks later, a 64-year-old man was killed on Sunrise Highway after being struck by a hit-and-run driver.

In July, a 50-year-old male pedestrian was killed on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow after a Hempstead Town Public Safety Officer allegedly while driving drunk.

Wayne Smith March 13, 2012 at 01:04 PM
As far as I'm aware, an aspect of this story that as not been highlighted has to do with the fact these roads often have to be crossed by kids on their way to school. Given an adolescent's tendency to be either inattentive or oblivious to risk, these roads pose even greater danger when you consider that factor.
Frank March 13, 2012 at 01:25 PM
@ EJ Son. Told ya that no one likes to cross Sunrise Highway.
WheelsNeedDeals.com March 13, 2012 at 03:57 PM
For me it will always be the Hempstead Turnpike. I've seen too many mishaps on that road. Of course being a Hofstra alum I had to cross it nearly everyday. Always made me a little nervous
Mac March 13, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Not surprised at all. Just over this weekend I alomost hit two teenagers by the library on skateboards doing tricks crossing the turnpike to build up speed. Then throw in the fact that many people forgot the rules of crossing the street like looking both ways or crossing at a crosswalk and you have a large amount of accidents.
Thomas March 13, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Back when the train tracks were elevated on Sunrise they should have added pedestrian tunnels. When I worked on Queens BLVD I always used the Subway access tunnels to cross the street. Its was the only safe way to do it.
Joe Baker March 14, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Many pedestrians have been killed crossing Sunrise Hwy, not only in Merrick but at other locations especially where commuters have to cross to catch a train or there is a village. The pedestrian bridges on Hempstead Tpke at Hofstra University are what we need, but if Merrick got one then other areas would want the same and rightfully so. The expense would be unaffordable but perhaps Federal funding would help pay for it. You really can't put a price tag on someones life. Besides the safety factor, I think that more residents who live south of Sunrise Hwy would walk to town and shop more boosting our much needed commerce.
Frank Reilly March 14, 2012 at 02:21 PM
didnt know that Hempstead Turnpike was a dangerous road to cross ( i havent live in Long Island in years)
AnnMarie Pacheco March 14, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Although I voted for Hempstead Tpk, I would have to say Sunrise Hwy and Merrick Rd come in so close as runners up I wish I could vote for all three to be tied. Kids are crossing these streets and cars are driving at dangerous speeds as they were on a parkway at any time of the day 24/7 these are community roads that people need to cross constantly and you are taking your life in your hands. Drivers are becoming so reckless and treating our streets as if they are raceways. With less traffic cops it just keeps getting worse
Rebecca March 14, 2012 at 11:40 PM
These roads are all dangerous, but for different reasons. Hempstead Turnpike and Sunrise Highway are bad, but at least they have medians to wait in if you can't get all the way across at once. Merrick Road is pretty much all travel-way for oncoming cars. I used to live in Seaford so I would cross Sunrise Highway and/or Merrick Road on a daily basis...and I don't miss that!
Hilda Ciaccio March 15, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Please look at stats re Salisbury Park Drive, Tuesday of this week a blind man was hit and taken unconcious t the Hospital; the previous Saturday, duing the night a car hit th hedges of the East Meadow Knolls, (hit and run); 2 weeks before that a drunk driver hit and pole and hedges of the East Meadow Knolls and was arrented; 4 weeks before that there was a five car accident where all were taken to hospitals and all 5 cars were totaled. Note there is 3 senior citizen complexes at location, help! email me at hilnolls2009@verizon.net
Mike March 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM
You can't always blame the drivers. I drive home every morning from work at 7AM, passing under the tracks by Bellmore Avenue and Sunrise Hwy, and can't tell you how many times I've nearly hit someone that was running across the street OUTSIDE of a crosswalk, or against traffic, all to make a train that I know doesn't come until at LEAST 7:10. People need to be more aware of safe crossings, and not trying to beat cars across the street.
Mac March 15, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Mike I agree wholeheartedly. It seems that somewhere down the line people forgot how to cross the street. Whatever happened to looking both ways, crossing at the crosswalk, no trying to beat the traffic and just general common sense? It really seems like the adults who shoudl know better dont. That is not to say the crossings cant be improved.
Catherine Mary March 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
A big problem with Hempstead Tpke ( I cross it four times a day) is that there is at least a four minute wait for the lights. Some people become impatient waiting that long. I know it doesn't SOUND like a long time, but it feels like forever if you just miss the light. Especially in bad weather when the wind is whipping as it usually is there. Many of the local high schools are on the north side of Hempstead Tpke, while the kids that go to them live on the south side. Kids are often late, usually impatient. This is a recipe for trouble. On top of that, people drive down Helpstead Tpke like they are on the parkway, as fast as traffic will allow. Sometimes that is not much, but sometimes it is 50 miles an hour or more. Trucks fly by and there is NO WAY any of them would be able to stop if someone walked out in front of them, not to mention running traffic lights that are just turning red, or fully red. They put in these great signs outside of the hospital to count down the time left before the light changes. Now it would be great if they worked. Most of the time they indicate "don't walk" even when the light is green to cross. There are your tax dollars at work. Maybe the person who was supposed to fix them got laid off by Mangano. So while we should all be careful crossing, and responsible to do it safely, these are some contributing factors to why accidents might happen.
Grace M April 21, 2012 at 04:18 AM
There are drivers out there that drive way too fast for a busy road like Hempstead Turnpike, disregarding speed limits and all.... .they are impatient and will honk at you if you aren't fast enough. For mothers like me who have a kid in the car, I have to be more careful... For some drivers , they just don't care.
Jon Freeman June 21, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Catherine, the pedestrian signals work, but you have to press the pushbutton and wait for the walking man to light up. This may take a few minutes, analogous to waiting for an elevator. If you fail to push the button provided, the controller will assume only cars are waiting and only provide a green light long enough to let cars through and the hand will remain lit on the pedestrian display. By crossing under those conditions, you put yourself at risk.


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