Staten Island has the lowest population of any of New York’s boroughs but ranks high in the number of serious automobile accidents that occur within its limits. The borough president Vito Fossella has now written a letter to the heads of various traffic management agencies calling for a meeting later in June to review the high rate of accidents that occur on Staten Island’s bridges and freeways and to propose methods for reducing the number of accidents.
Staten Island’s unique location
Staten Island has become a funnel for traffic traveling between Brooklyn and New Jersey via the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, between New York and New Jersey via the Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, and between New Jersey and Staten Island using the Outer Bridge Crossing.
Unfortunately, management of the different bridges is divided among four separate agencies. The Metropolitan Transit Authority manages the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, while the Port Authority manages the Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing. The New York State Department of Transportation is responsible for the Staten Island Expressway and the West Shore Expressway.
What the meeting will consider
The borough president has asked each of the agencies to prepare vehicular crash data to aid in assessing the extent of the problem. The borough president also noted that reducing the number of accidents is not solely a matter of public safety. The study may come up with measures to mitigate the high levels of traffic congestion that motorists must face on a daily basis. Mr. Fossella’s letter cited several statistics to support the need for remedial measures. In 2021, public data showed that 423 vehicle collisions occurred on the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, an average of more than one crash per day.
None of the agencies who received the letter have expressed an unwillingness to participate. Representatives of the Port Authority and NYSDOT have expressed enthusiasm for the meeting. The MTA has not yet responded to the letter.
Mr. Fossella did not provide any information about injuries caused by these accidents, but the fact that many of the accident occurred on freeways, tunnels, and other roads intended for high speed traffic, leads to the inference that many serious injuries must have occurred. Anyone who may have been injured or lost a loved one in such an accident may wish to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for advice about pursuing a claim for damages.