Dependable Erection

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

This made my day

From the folks at Triangle Business Journal, a searchable database of motor vehicle accident* locations in the Triangle between 2007 and 2009, based on data provided by NCDOT.

The database does not include information about injuries, fatalities, damages, etc., and appears to only include vehicle/vehicle interactions, not vehicle/pedestrian.

Here's the data for Roxboro St.

If you don't want to follow the link, here's some tidbits.

Club & Roxboro - 116
I-85 & Roxboro - 93
I-85 & Avondale - 63
Avondale & Foushee - 63
Avondale & Roxboro - 61
Roxboro & Roxboro - 24 (Yeah, i don't know where that is either.)
Avondale & Markham - 24
Markham & Roxboro - 20
I-85B & Roxboro - 17
I-85B & Avondale - 15
Avondale & Camden - 13
Avondale & Avondale - 10

If you're keeping track, that's a total of 519 reported motor vehicle accidents over a 3 year period, just in this section of the map. I chose it not only because i live pretty much in the middle of this mess, but because, around 4 or 5 years ago, NCDOT finished their "improvements" of the I-85 corridor, including "upgrades" to Roxboro and Avondale. (If you head further north up Roxboro, say as far as Infinity, add a couple of hundred more wrecks to the list at various intersections.) It's also the part of the city where i spend the most time on foot, with the least feeling of safety. Speed limits of 35 mph, already too high for residential & retail streets, are routinely ignored. 80th percentile speeds are well above 40, and speeds over 50 were clocked every hour of every day when we've had the radar counter out. A high speed of over 90 was recorded on Avondale near Camden a couple of years ago.

To put things in perspective, 3 of the top 4 intersections for wrecks in Durham County are on Roxboro St., and all 5 of the I-85 interchanges in town (Avondale, Roxboro, Duke, Geuss & Hillandale) make the top 20. Only 3 of the I-40 interchanges are in the top 20, despite I-40 carrying much more traffic than I-85, although I-40 and Fayetteville is the worst intersection in Durham in absolute numbers. I'd like to see the traffic volume counts for that intersection (138 collisions) compared to Club and Roxboro with 116 collisions. I suspect Fayetteville at 1-40 carries twice as many vehicles per day as Roxboro at Club/Foushee/I-85.

I wonder which of our city leaders has looked at the article, and what, if any, policy changes might come from this data? Better enforcement of traffic laws, perhaps? Some transit decisions to reduce the volume of traffic along the length of Roxboro to make it safer and more pedestrian friendly? Or just a shoulder shrug, same old same old, and hope for the best?

* I'm not a big fan of the term "accident" when it comes to motor vehicle collisions. Most of the time, there's something preventable that took place, whether it's speeding, driving while distracted, driving while impaired, or general stupidity behind the wheel of a 3000 pound machine moving at 40 mph or faster.

h/t to Durham/Orange Friends of Transit

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  • I agree about the inappropriate use of the word "accident" as many accidents are caused due to poor driving. I prefer collision or crash.

    I'll have to search the database to confirm, but I expect that the intersection of E. Trinity and Roxboro also has a high number of crashes. There were five crashes there in a two week period. One of them occurred while the police were still wrapping up the previous one!

    By Blogger Steve Graff, at 10:44 AM  

  • Rox and Trinity checks in at 26. Icluding the other Trinity intersections (Avondale, Mangum, Duke, Gregson) the total is just over 100.

    I suspect you could add a minimum of 30% to most of these numbers to account for accidents that either don't get reported or aren't included for one reason or another.

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:55 AM  

  • Since Infinity & Latta are the same road, the Roxboro & Infinity/Latta intersection was the site of 66 crashes over the study period.

    That puts it at number 4 on the list of crashes on at intersections along Roxboro and number 14 within the county, as a whole.

    And, there's a DPD substation on the Southwest corner of that intersection. NCDOT won't pay for any intersection improvements (they had been hoping for a developer to pay for roadway improvements, but the mix-used retail/office development seems to have fallen-through).

    By Blogger Dan S., at 8:56 PM  

  • Yep - Roxboro i think from top to bottom is the highest "accident" corridor in the county.

    I assume the solution to this problem will, at some point, involve widening the road, and eliminating some access points to it from the east and west.

    In other words, exactly not what needs to happen.

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:01 PM  

  • The simplest and most effective solution is simply to place barricades at every intersection access and merge point.

    If vehicles cannot access Roxboro Street/Road, then collisions cannot take place on Roxboro Street/Road.

    By Blogger Dan S., at 1:41 PM  

  • You can add one more to the count at Rox & Avondale. Police, fire, ambulance all there at 2:30 today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:48 PM  

  • Instead of "accident," try "wreck." That doesn't work so well for pedestrian incidents though.

    By Blogger Joseph H., at 11:45 AM  

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