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Survey Shows LI Walkers/Bikers Fear Speeding Cars, Lack of Sidewalks Most

Updated: Jul 16

A Walk Safe Long Island survey distributed among attendees at our safety education programs held October 2021 through September 2022 found that speeding cars, lack of sidewalks and marked bicycle lanes instilled the greatest fear among Long Islanders surveyed. Survey results were released June 8, 2023 at the Walk Bike LI Summit, Farmingdale State College.

These local findings correlate to much larger studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Governors Traffic Safety Committee that point to these same reasons for road users’ unease.

Speeding is especially problematic. Government statistics show that for more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities, and in 2020 was a contributing factor in crashes that resulted in 11,258 fatalities. According to national and state data, the Long Island region has one of the highest rates of pedestrian injury/fatality in the state with many of our roads deemed “death corridors.”

“Better roadway design that forces cars to slow down and, of course, arming pedestrians and cyclists with knowledge about laws designed to keep them safe are just some of the tactics safety advocates employ,” said Cindy Brown, executive director of NYCTS. “It is a multi-faceted problem and requires a multi-faceted approach, which is what the NHTSA “safe systems” approach is all about.”

While about 60 percent of the respondents said overall they felt safe walking in their neighborhoods, 100 percent said they would feel even safer due to the knowledge gained during the educational program that highlighted New York State pedestrian/bicycle laws. They also noted roadway design factors, such as marked crosswalks, crossing signals, and protected and marked bicycle lanes, would make them feel safer.

Download the infographic containing all survey results here.


About Walk Safe Long Island (WSLI)

WSLI is a pedestrian and cyclist safety campaign that aims to teach Long Islanders about walking and biking safely through law-based education. WSLI is produced for the New York Coalition for Transportation Safety by the Long Island Health Collaborative, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with a grant from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

New York State is taking numerous measures to tackle the issue of pedestrian and cyclist safety, all of which culminate in the New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP). The plan emphasizes making streets safer by implementing the “Three Es—” engineering, enforcement, and education. Walk Safe Long Island is part of the third “E,” education.

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