News

Tragic Death Prompts Safety Questions About Route 22 In Union, NJ

Man trying to cross the road amidst traffic in Union, N.J. on April 27, 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

Man trying to cross the road amidst traffic in Union, N.J. on April 27, 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

UNION, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The tragic death of a pedestrian on a New Jersey highway is raising questions about whether people should be allowed to walk across the busy roadway and whether overpasses are needed.

Route 22 in Union is unique. There are businesses on each side and in the center of the roadway, along with some barriers with fencing on some parts, but no overpasses.

“I just pray when I cross street,” William Dawkins told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Friday.

Thursday night a pedestrian was struck and killed along Route 22, near Harding Road in Scotch Plains.

It is unclear if he was trying to cross, but the driver stopped and talked to police.

There is a crosswalk and light on Route 22 near the spot where the victim was struck and killed, but many people choose not to use them.

“Going more towards Union could use more crossings and lights…to protect citizens,” said Brian Hartman, of Scotch Plains.

New Jersey’s Department of Transportation said 146 pedestrians were killed last year on state roadways — 141 the year before and 157 in 2009.

The DOT said it is trying to combat the problem on roadways with safety initiatives.

CBS 2 also contacted called several police departments to see if they plan on stepping up patrols to stop jay walkers, but no one responded. CBS 2 also asked the DOT if building overpasses would help. A spokesperson said they are costly and that most pedestrians who jay walk don’t use them.

Have you ever tried crossing this road? Let us know in the comments section below…