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Is fear of NYC highways warranted after zoo crash?

Associated Press Modified: May 5, 2012 at 11:01 am •  Published: May 5, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — A freak accident in the Bronx is being touted by some transportation advocates as evidence that New York City's aging highway system needs major upgrades.

Seven people died Sunday when the family's SUV veered off a bridge on the Bronx River Parkway.

Yet, transportation safety statistics show that the city's intimidating roadways are far less deadly than their rural and suburban counterparts, with only a fraction of the number of fatalities per mile traveled.

Traffic fatalities in New York City last year 2011 were the lowest they have been in a century.

Replacing highways isn't at the top of many urban planners' wish lists.

One factor is cost. By one estimate, merely operating and maintaining the present road and rail network through 2035 will cost $951 billion.