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Report: Fatalities Down But Notable NYC Roads Still Dangerous

Pedestrians Getting The Message About Hand-Held Distractions
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Broadway

A street sign on a post on Broadway in Times Square Jan. 5, 2011 in New York. Broadway continues from the south tip of Manhattan all the way north to Westchester County. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New Yorkers are facing real road dangers.

A new study shows some of the city’s busiest intersections are also some of its most dangerous.

John Metaxas got behind the wheel in one of CBS 2’s Mobil 2 units on Wednesday and surveyed the scene on Hamilton Heights.

It may be the deadliest stretch of road in the city. In the 10 blocks of Broadway between 140th and 150th streets four pedestrians were killed over a three-year period.

New York City’s widest boulevards are its most deadly. In six lanes of traffic on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, eight pedestrians lost their lives in the three years from 2007 through 2009.

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“When you think you are ready to cross, you get ready to cross and the traffic is going by quickly,” Prospect Heights, Brooklyn resident Jackie Cooper said.

“It’s so confusing because you don’t know which light is indicated for you to cross and for them to stop,” added Crown Heights resident Hugh Davis.

Eight more died in traffic accidents on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan.

“I saw somebody get hit. I don’t think they were killed, but it was really ugly,” said resident Bruce Katz.

And these are not even the worst.

“The most dangerous in the city is Broadway. There were 11 fatalities in Manhattan and seven more in the Bronx,” said Michelle Ernst of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

Among the other deadly roads in the city, according to the Campaign, there is the West Side Highway, which also had eight fatalities in the survey period, Kings Highway and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, the Grand Concourse in the Bronx and the Bowery — which each had seven deaths.

And it’s not just the traffic that’s the problem. In just a few minutes, Metaxas saw many distracted pedestrians not really paying attention while crossing.

But despite the fatalities, Ernst said safety improvements like countdown clocks on red lights and pedestrian islands have driven pedestrian deaths to the lowest level ever recorded.

“This city is much safer than it was five, 10 years ago,” Ernst said.

But it’s still advisable to not use earbuds, don’t text while crossing and don’t blast your radio. Deaths may be down, but one death is still too many.

Queens Boulevard, long considered one of the most deadly in the city, registered five deaths in the survey period — but that was not in the top 10. Analysts said it’s because of increased crossing times and safety barriers installed there.

Ever have a bad experience on any of these dangerous roads? Tells us about it below.

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