DOT devising solutions for problems at hazardous Wake intersections

Posted December 27, 2018 5:43 p.m. EST
Updated December 27, 2018 7:19 p.m. EST

— Several of the most hazardous intersections in the state are in Wake County, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which is trying to address the problems and make them safer.

"We identify locations that have experienced a pattern of correctable crashes during the most recent five years. So, our goal is to analyze and investigate that location so we can go out there and come up with some safety counter-measures," said Stephen Lowry, a DOT traffic safety engineer.

The intersection of N.C. Highway 54 and Aviation Parkway, for example, sees a high number of nighttime crashes, while more than half of the 101 crashes at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Rocky Quarry Road were frontal crashes that involved right or left turns.

"Those are the locations that we will target particular counter-measures to help reduce that particular crash type," Lowry said.

At Raleigh Boulevard and Yonkers Road, only 44 crashes were reported, but many were considered severe, which the DOT calculates by weighing property damage and injuries. Those who work near the intersection say the danger is very much top of mind.

"It just seems to be there's not enough time to get through the light safely, so a lot of people tend to run the lights," said Kelly Rappl, who works nearby at Catholic Ministries. "The turn lane isn't big enough, so the thing about it is it's very difficult to maneuver around and get through the intersection when you need to."

U.S. Highway 401 and N.C. Highway 96 in northeastern Wake County also has a large number of severe crashes. Its severity index is nearly double some of the most dangerous intersections in North Carolina, and it has a high frequency of frontal crashes.

The goal for DOT is to look at the patterns and try to make changes that can help drivers, Lowry said.