Dangerous Intersections Around the Area

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

February 8, 2006

With the amount of growth in the area, increased traffic is inevitable. With that increased traffic comes more and more accidents. So, where are the dangerous intersections in your area?

"Rio Road and Route 29," said Tom Twomey.

"29 and Rio," said Jeff Kyles.

"Right here at East Rio," said James Tinsley.

Everyone has a story about this intersection.

"Coming through there 15 minutes ago, someone missed their light and they still kept coming right through. They don't slow down," said Kyles.

"I almost had an accident [there] yesterday. A guy pulled out in front of me not paying attention to where he was going," said Tinsley.

So how does Rio Road and U.S. 29 stack up against the rest of the county's intersections?

In a Daily Progress articled dated December 9th, Rio Road and U.S. 29 won the battle of the dangerous intersections in Albemarle County, compiling 55 accidents as of December 1.

Coming in second was the intersection of Hydraulic Road and U.S. 29 with 26 accidents. Following closely in third was the intersection of U.S. 29 and Airport Road and Proffit Roads. This intersection piled up 19 accidents.

U.S. 29 and Woodbrook Drive listed 18 accidents. The first non U.S. 29 intersection came in at number five, U.S. 250 and Route 20, amassing 9 accidents. As for the city:

"Some of our bad places are, Long and High [Streets], the 250 bypass and Hydraulic Road and Ridge and Cherry [Ave.] is also a bad spot," said Lt. Gary Pleasants with Charlottesville City Police.

Crashes along U.S. 250 and Hydraulic Road have become all too commonplace. At this time, the City does not track exact crash numbers in respect to intersections. However, internally, when crashed in an area spike, the city reacts.

"We'll have increased enforcement. [We'll ]have officers monitor the intersections for people running the traffic lights or whatever the case may be. [They will] write more summons," Pleasants said.

One main factor adds to the amount of crashes.

"Traffic volumes. The more traffic that goes through an intersection, obviously the more chances you are going to have for there to be more crashes," said Lou Hatter with VDOT.

To deal with the increased volume, VDOT is moving away from building more new roads, rather trying to make the existing roads work.

"We're also recognizing that there are a lot of other things that we can do like programming the signals to increase the efficiency, which will allow us to move more people through the existing network more efficiently," Hatter said.

In the end, the most perfect road still needs cautious drivers.

"Certainly there is a component of driver responsibility there, patience is something [and] the rules of the road," said Hatter.

Rules that Tom Twomey takes seriously.

"I usually leave a lot of space between myself and the car in front and I drive slow basically," he said.

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