Walking up one of the most deadly for pedestrian streets in the Tri-State Area


New Jersey’s McCarter Highway , Route 21 which crosses closely to Penn and bisects Newark is regularly ranked as one of the most deadly for pedestrians in the New York, Connecticut and New Jersey area. It makes no sense this street is so dangerous. They essentially spent money to keep it dangerous for pedestrians. The state spent 357 million dollars making it safer for CARS and building a light rail that goes underneath for a brief bit then goes on Broad (very much needed, the design is a whole other post) to PAC and the Riverfront Stadium. 

Route 21 connects to everything in Newark, but there is this idea that if you’re walking you should go around, no matter how late you get in.

Going around as an easy solution is called patriarchy, if you’re a guy, maybe going up a dark side street with a mattress on the sidewalk feels like a great option, not for me.

(The view of my side street option. Keep in mind it was about to get dark.) Processed with MOLDIV

Penn Newark is the third largest provider of commuter service into the Tri-State area, but walking around the station, is uncomfortable.

I’m just speaking strictly as trying to walk from point A to point B. Newark is a great city, but the area around Penn needs a sidewalk, traffic calming, some roundabouts and possibly some public art. As Route 21 is a county road Newark’s hands are tied in regards to fixing this alone, come on Essex, let us to do better for the brick that is the foundation of Essex County.

Also considering Newark is 52% African-American it would be really nice if the county did something for the safety of the African-American and Latinx population in Newark. I feel that the exclusion of the Black community in Complete Streets is completely outrageous.

Funding for walking and public transit appears to be exclusively for the Dream of a whiter future of Newark and not the Black present.

VELO is working on a petition to get mayors and reps in Essex to commit to equitable implementation of Complete Streets in their cities and districts. Please sign and forward.

-Lark Lo

1 Comment

  1. Very interesting entry. Street designers have a long way to go before they understand how to make roads that aren’t killers for non-car drivers. The close calls I have had on my bicycle have been when crossing in pedestrian crosswalks with the green light (and little white walking guy sign). The big problem is left turn cars looking at oncoming traffic and not the crosswalk.

    Hopefully, things will get better day by day.

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