Suburban roads conceal a deadly trap, hinting at alarming systemic issues.

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While New York City has adopted pedestrian-first policies to enhance traffic safety, suburban areas are experiencing an increase in traffic deaths as they have built their infrastructure around prioritizing automobiles. High-speed arterial roads that connect suburban communities to commercial districts and office parks are referred to by traffic safety advocates as “stroads,” and the design is often inhospitable to anything but motor vehicles. Peter Norton, a historian, said that since the 1930s, the US has been making it safer to be in a vehicle while making life more dangerous for people outside the vehicle, and the crucial principals need to change. Impairment, such as alcohol and recreational marijuana, is a factor in 80% of head-on collisions leading to wrong-way crashes. Connecticut is installing cameras and warning lights to address the problem, but experts say it is not enough and design confusion should also be considered. New Jersey is hostile to implementing enforcement cameras to slow drivers, but Jersey City has adopted the Vision Zero program to change streets, curbs, sidewalks, and bike paths. The city is forgiving in design, even if there is a crash, so that it will not lead to a loss of life.

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