Chestnut-Fillmore in city’s top 25 crash locations again

       “I go slow through there,” Eddie Orff said of the Fillmore and Chestnut Street intersection.
       Orff is the senior crime analyst for the Colorado Springs Police Department, but he can also speak from experience. A Holland Park resident, he regularly traverses the intersection, which made the city's “Top 25 Most Severe Crash Locations” list for the second straight year.
       The city released the list this week. Fillmore/Chestnut, just west of the Fillmore/I-25 interchange, was ranked 17th. It was the only site on the Westside.
       Last year, based on 2004 data, the intersection was rated fourth worst in the city, with 28 crashes and five injuries. This year's total, gauged from January to December 2005, was 16 accidents, also with five injuries. Also affecting the rankings is the number of cars that go through an intersection in all directions. At Fillmore/Chestnut, the measurement this year was 31,000 cars a day - less than last year's 33,500.
       Orff's analysis breaks down the 16 accidents as follows: 7 rear-enders, 4 while turning, 4 sideswipes and 1 other. The sideswipes usually occur, he said, when people going south on Chestnut get in the left-turn only lane, but instead of using it to go east over the Fillmore bridge (as they're supposed to), they make a partial left to get on the interstate.
       When the list comes out each year, police target the worst intersections for better enforcement. Efforts are also made to educate motorists and to seek engineering solutions, where possible, Orff said.
       The Fillmore-Chestnut intersection was built in 1959 when I-25 went in. State and city transportation engineers recognize there's a design problem, Orff said. State and city plans call for a new Fillmore interchange, a widening of Fillmore and a rerouting of Chestnut to cross Fillmore a block farther west. However, no funding is currently available to do the work.
       Number one on this year's worst-crash list is East Fountain and South Academy Boulevard with 38 accidents and 20 injuries in a location that had 78,000 cars a day in 2005.
       Although the City Police press release only listed the top 25 accident locations for 2005, Orff's spreadsheet of such data ranks 64 in all. In that list, two other Westside-area locations appear: 32nd - the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and Garden of the Gods Road (14 accidents, six injuries, 48,000 cars a day); and 62nd - the intersection of Eighth Street and Cimarron Street (19 accidents, four injuries, 91,000 cars a day).

Westside Pioneer article