Route 110 is one of Suffolk County’s most dangerous roads, according to a recent study.
Analysis of federal traffic fatality data revealed that seven people were killed while walking along the road, which stretches through Melville, Huntington and Farmingdale between 2008 and 2010. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing car dependency, conducted the study.
The danger of Route 110 lies in its design, said Ryan Lynch, policy director for the organization.
He said that the road was specifically built to move cars as quickly as possible, with little regard to pedestrian safety. The road is wide and lacks a safety island at the halfway mark for people to stand while waiting to cross.
“Whenever you have a road designed solely with the interest of the automobile driver in mind, you are going to see higher pedestrian fatalities,” Lynch said.
Three people were killed in 2008 while attempting to cross the road. That number dipped to one in 2009, but rose to three again in 2010.
The study encourages legislators to pass a law that would require roads, when constructed or rebuilt, to have all uses of the road considered, including pedestrian safety. That consideration would come at a good time for Route 110 since the road is already being studied as bus rapid transit corridor, as part of Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone’s “Connect Long Island” plan. Bellone’s plan would establish a bus route along Route 110.
A more pedestrian friendly Route 110 may also be beneficial for businesses in the area.
“The road is lined with a lot of retail, businesses and employment centers. Legislators should want to make sure the road is pedestrian friendly to encourage people to walk to local retail stores and spend money,” Lynch said.
In total, 96 pedestrians were killed on Suffolk County streets in the three years from 2008 through 2010. The most dangerous road in the county is Route 27 (Sunrise Highway) with 10 deaths. Route 25 (Jericho Turnpike) ties with Route 110 with seven and Wicks Road (Route 13, 5th Avenue) suffered six pedestrian deaths over those years.