Meteoric. How many Black people died today because of bad infrastructure? Route 21.

McCarter Highway in Newark run by the State DOT is regularly on the Tri-State Transportation Campaign “Most deadly for pedestrian” list.

It was redesigned. Stop laughing. I have proof:

route21redesign
I assume that the idea behind the pedestrian unfriendliness (though they said they fixed it…) of it was because they don’t want people walking on it, well since it keeps killing people that evil genius plan is CLEARLY not working.

McCarter Highway is an arterial road.

“The majority of pedestrian deaths occur on arterial roadways, planned and engineered for speeding automobiles with little consideration for the diversity of people—young, old, with and without disabilities, walking and bicycling—who rely on these streets to get them from point A to point B.” –Smart Growth America.

McCarter Highway is lined by the Prudential Center, NJ Performing Art Center, Planner Parenthood, Newark Penn Station, Gateway Plaza, Seton Hall Law School, multiple bars, and no less than FOUR huge parking lots.

If you don’t want people to walk around an area then you should probably not put lots of things around it, like that huge train station….oh yeah that was there before!

If you need to get traffic through the area, then you also should HIGHLY DISCOURAGE people who drive there specifically to just park and go into to New York, those parking lots kind of say, “Please drive here, there is plenty of room, because walking here, maybe it will work out for you, who knows?”

Why did NJDOT decide to kill and injure the people in the urban core who often have no choice, but to walk instead of telling people from the suburbs to not drive. They could have sweetened the deal by running the NJ and Newark Light Rail a lot more frequently. NJ Light Rail should be running every 10 minutes and that should be happening through 12 a.m. if you’re going to have a stadium, an art center, a night life, and you have one of the biggest train stations in the Tri-State area, you might as well use it.

No amount of JUST passing out “be safe” post cards in the world is going to make people stop being killed, injured, and having panic attacks on Route 21.

This thing need about 1,000 shovels.

This area is unsafe owing to bad infrastructure and bad policy for people walking, bicycling, and driving, even driving is a terrifying endeavor on Route 21. At the bare minimum the NJDOT should actually fix the major intersections (like they said they did, but they didn’t) around Penn Station and work with the county and the city to create a street that is worthy of the people who live in Newark currently.

They should also pick one name to call it, because this Route 21/McCarter Highway business is ridiculous. We need one name, so that we can have accurate records of how many people are being killed and injured on that death trap frogger video game road.

Route 21 is a modern day disgrace.

And do not dismiss this as “it’s just Newark,” (which is how people are racist and dismissive in NJ of the inequities here, so change it’s just Newark to it’s just Black people) because the  City of Newark which had and has a Black mayor managed to create Broad Street, which is quite pleasant.

Lark Lo

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