21st & Hwy 24 makes top 25 on city’s accident list again

       At 22nd worst, Highway 24 (Cimarron Street) and 21st Street was the highest Westside location on the city's list of dangerous intersections for 2008.

The new curb at the southwest corner of Highway 24 and 21st Street is intentionally less rounded than before, as part of a city strategy to slow vehicles off the highway when they turn south onto 21st. The work was done in conjunction with the ongoing Roundhouse redevelopment project (next to the intersection).
Westside Pioneer photo

       Intersections that make the top 25 are monitored for enforcement and/or potential redesign, according to a city press release.
       Highway 24 & 21st is already scheduled for upgrades this year, based on its number-two ranking on the 2006 list, when it had 34 accidents, 9 with injuries. This year, it had 19 accidents, 2 with injuries. Last year it was 46th, with 16 accidents and 1 injury.
       The annual ranking by Traffic Engineering and City Police factors in the number of accidents (giving a higher weighting to those with injuries) and the daily traffic volume.
       The weighting for 24 & 21st, which has a daily volume of 49,600, was 1.49 (meaning that for every 1 million vehicles through the intersection 1.49 people are likely to get injured).
       According to city traffic engineers, work at the intersection this year will involve a northbound 21st Street right-turn-only lane, elimination of the broadly curved merging lane for right turns onto eastbound Highway 24 and an offset of the highway's left-turn lanes to improve visibility. Another improvement, recently implemented by Griffis-Blessing for the Roundhouse redevelopment project at the southwest corner, was to make a tighter turn for southbound vehicles turning right off Highway 24. The idea is to have slower traffic going by the Roundhouse, making its right-in/right-out access off 21st less dangerous.
       Close behind on the accident list for 2008 was Highway 24/ Cimarron and Eighth Street, in 26th place. Hosting 26 accidents (3 with injuries), the Westside intersection has not previously ranked this high. It was 66th last year.
       The total volume at Eighth & 24 is 75,900 cars a day, so the city formula gave it a 1.37 weighting. The list does not offer reasons for intersections doing poorly, but a study of accident diagrams shows that more than a quarter of them at Eighth & 24 were rear-end collisions.
       The only other Westside intersection in the top 100 was 21st Street and Colorado Avenue, at 69th, with eight accidents and no injuries.
       The most dangerous intersection citywide, for the second year in a row, was Briargate Parkway and Powers Boulevard - although it was only half as bad as the year before, based on the city formula. A city press release noted this statistic, citing other information as well to indicate that “crash rates” for Colorado Springs intersections have dropped over the past three years.
       Freeway interchanges are weighted the same way; as a result, even though they tend to have more accidents this can be attributed, at least in part, to higher traffic volumes. The nearby I-25/Cimarron interchange was sixth among the 17 freeway interchanges, with 27 accidents (6 with injuries), for a weighting of 1.06.
       The I-25/Fillmore interchange was seventh with a weighting of .97, and I-25/Uintah was last (best) with a weighting of .32.

Westside Pioneer/press release