Calls for additional analysis of bridges and expressways’ accident data
Borough President Vito Fossella today expressed deep concern over the number of traffic accidents on Staten Island’s expressways, the Verrazano Bridge, and the Port Authority crossings after reviewing the publicly available data from the Metropolitan Transit Authority (Bridges & Tunnels).
He has asked the MTA, the Port Authority, and the State Department of Transportation to provide him with accident data and safety and enforcement information that would shed light on why the accidents are occurring and how the agencies can collaborate on reducing accidents and raising public awareness.
“The data shows that the Verrazano Bridge has the highest number of collisions, and more importantly, collisions with injuries of any bridge or tunnel in the MTA system. That prompted us to reach out to the Port Authority which governs the NJ to SI crossings, and the state DOT which regulates traffic on the interstate highways, which includes the Staten Island Expressway and West Shore Expressway. This will allow us to look at the totality of the accident rates on our bridges and expressways,” said Borough President Fossella. “We look forward to reviewing the data that’s provided to us in more detail so we can come together again with these agencies to determine plausible solutions.”
According to the public data from 2021, 197,000 cars drove over the Verrazano Bridge each day which resulted in 423 accidents for the year. Almost half of those accidents occurred because drivers were following too close. Ten percent of accidents were caused by an unsafe lane change, and 8% of accidents happened because of improper passing.
“We as Staten Islanders experience many times over the frustration of sitting in traffic on our expressways or bridges due to vehicular accidents,” Fossella added. “These accidents range from severe crashes with tragic loss of life to minor fender-benders. However, all result in a ripple effect of delays and congestion throughout the Island whenever an accident occurs. Typically, motorists will try to find alternative routes which clog our neighborhood streets. So, the impact often is not limited to the bridges or expressways – it is felt throughout many neighborhoods and many lives.”
BP Fossella adds that Staten Islanders rely greatly on the efficiency and safety of our bridges and expressways. It is vital that we obtain a better understanding of safety on these transportation corridors, which carry millions of vehicles per year. Our office looks forward to better understanding the data and then work urgently to decrease the number of accidents.