Stats show: Westside intersections safer in ‘07

       Is Westside traffic getting safer?
       Last year, when the city released its list of “accident-prone” intersections, three Westside crossings made the top 10.
       This year, the highest Westside ranking was number 46 - Highway 24 and 21st Street, the same intersection which last year had the dubious distinction of being the second most dangerous in the city.
       The two others from the previous top 10 (Centennial and Fillmore, third; and Higway 24 and 26th Street, ninth), didn't even get a ranking this year. They were somewhere below 67, which was the final number on the list that was released to the media.
       The only other Westside location in the top 67 was Highway 24 and Eighth Street, ranked 66th.
       Overall, each Westside intersection that had been ranked in the top 75 last year showed improved statistics this year.
       The annual accident list, which is taken from previous-year statistics, factors in the number of accidents, giving a higher weight to those with injuries, and the volume of traffic.
       Scott Logan, director of Traffic Engineering, said he had no ready explanation for the Westside downturn. “Sometimes it's a fickle deal,” he said. “But if you don't do anything, they pop back up the next year.”
       The city takes the list seriously: Improvements are planned to all three of last year's Westside top-10 intersections. In fact, Logan said, the city has just awarded a bid to design the upgrades to the Highway 24 intersections at 21st and 26th (which are to focus on safer highway access and left turns). The work will be done by PBS&J, a local civil engineering firm. However, with Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) approval also required, Logan could not predict if the work would get underway this year.
       Citywide, first place on this year's list was the northeast city's Briargate Parkway and Powers Boulevard, which in 2007 had 22 accidents, 8 with injuries (and one fatality) at an intersection with a relatively low volume of 28,300 vehicles a day. Its factored rate, as a result, was 6.29 (meaning that for every 1 million vehicles through the intersection more than six people are likely to get injured). This rate was more than twice as high as the second-place intersection (Powers and Union Boulevard).
       By comparison, Highway 24 and 21st had 16 accidents, 1 with an injury, and a volume of 49,600 vehicles per day, for a rate of 1.10.
       Other Westside intersections that have made the list in recent years - but not this year - are as follows (with corresponding numbers and ranking from last year's list in parentheses):
  • Centennial/Fillmore - 1 accident, none with injuries (2007: 14 and 5, ranked third).
  • Highway 24/26th - 3 accidents, 1 with injury (2007: 11 and 5, ranked ninth).
  • Centennial /Garden of the Gods - 6 accidents, 1 with injury (2007: 15 and 4, ranked 51st).
  • Chestnut/Fillmore - 9 accidents, 1 with injury (2007: 14 and 2, ranked 72nd). Note: In the lists for both 2006 and 2005, this intersection had been in the top 25.
  • Chestnut/Garden of the Gods - 10 accidents, 1 with injury (2007: 20 and 1, ranked 74th).
           In separate rankings for interstate accidents, the Westside-proximity interchange with the highest number of wrecks was Cimarron and I-25, ranked third of 11; while the Garden of the Gods interchange was fourth, Fillmore sixth, Uintah seventh and Bijou eighth. All had constrained configurations at times in 2007 because of the COSMIX project. However, the worst of them (Cimarron) had a factored rate no worse than the 70th-ranked site on the intersection list.

    Westside Pioneer article