Route 1 most deadly Connecticut road for pedestrians

Photo of Bill Cummings

The Boston Post Road, which snakes along the shoreline and is dotted with myriad businesses, is the most dangerous road in Connecticut for pedestrians, a new study says.

An analysis by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit policy watchdog, said nine pedestrians were killed on U.S. Route 1 from 2011 to 2013; overall, 21 pedestrians were killed on Fairfield County roadways.

Statewide, 99 people died crossing Connecticut roads, compared to 11 from 2010 to 2012. Hartford County had the most pedestrian deaths, with 28, followed by New Haven County with 24, the study said.

"For seven consecutive years, Route 1 has held the top spot as Connecticut's most deadly road for pedestrians," said Veronica Vanterpool, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

"Clearly, not enough is being done to transform this arterial into a corridor that is safe for all users," Vanterpool said.

A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation declined comment on the study. The state in the past has questioned methodology used in the annual report.

The study found arterial roadways such as Route 1 -- multi-lane roads that often have speed limits of 40 mph or more with little pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure -- are the region's most deadly for pedestrians.

"It's hard to get around in Connecticut if you don't own a car, not only because of inadequate transit options, but also because so many roads are designed without the needs of pedestrians in mind," said Joseph Cutrufo, Connecticut advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

While Tri-State applauded Connecticut for enacting a vulnerable-user law in 2014, which established up to $1,000 fines for drivers who recklessly hit pedestrians or bicyclists, the group also urged lawmakers to take further action.

Recommendations include fully funding a $101 million pedestrian- and bicycle-improvement plan, prioritizing pedestrian safety near transit hubs and creating a safe-routes program for seniors.

"In Connecticut, adults age 60 and older account for one in three pedestrian deaths, and have the greatest fatality rate of any population group," said AARP Connecticut State Director Nora Duncan.

"We can improve pedestrian safety and make our communities more livable by designing and building roadways that accommodate all users," Duncan said.