Skip to Content
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

No Safe Option for Jersey Teens Killed on Railroad Tracks

9:02 AM PDT on October 5, 2011

Who pays the price for our car-centric transportation system? The short answer is we all do. But no one as much as the elderly, the poor, people with disabilities and children.

It’s clear that the well-being of teenagers wasn’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind when the “spaghetti bowl” intersection of I-80, NJ-23 and US 36 in Wayne, New Jersey was designed.

Alan Mendez and Nicholas Sabina were killed on a railroad trestle over the weekend by a commuter train. A third boy suffered injuries when he jumped off the bridge as the train approached. Unfortunately, these boys just didn’t have a better option for crossing this maze of highways, says Andy B. on hisWalkBikeJersey blog:

This interchange was built in an era when no consideration was given to the needs of pedestrians or bicyclists looking to travel between the surrounding neighborhoods. Even more unfortunate, at least one of the possible alternative crossings was given a major renovation within the past 15 years with nary a consideration given for anything other that the efficient flow of motor vehicle traffic.

There are no practical routes for miles around for non-motorized road users looking to travel north or south over both I 80 and US 46 anywhere near the NJ 23 corridor. Every roadway nearby that crosses both highways requires running a gauntlet of “meat grinder,” high-speed off and on-ramps. When faced with these “non-choices, the NJ TRANSIT rail corridor is probably in all reality the safest option even though it is illegal and wrought with its own hazards.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog San Francisco

Who Regrets Tearing Down the Embarcadero Freeway?

An excerpt from John King's Portal: San Francisco's Ferry Building and the Reinvention of American Cities—and a reminder of how much attitudes can change about car-dominated cities and infrastructure

February 27, 2024
See all posts