Alabama’s most dangerous intersection gets an upgrade

State's most dangerous intersection

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Birmingham is home to the state’s most dangerous intersection.

Officials say the intersection of University Boulevard and 28th Street South, right in front of St. Vincent’s Hospital and one block up from the on ramp for the Red Mountain Express, is more dangerous than any other intersection in Alabama.

The study used longitude and latitude coordinates to count the number of fatal accidents that happened within 150 feet of each other. It then focused on the accident sites that were at intersections. The study spanned reports from 2003 to 2012 and found two fatalities happened near this intersection.

“I think it’s kind of crazy! Two fatalities? They really need to do something about it if they haven’t already,” says Christopher Brown.

Bullington lives nearby and says he believes the study.

“You see a lot of people, especially coming out of the parking deck, trying to crisscross lanes, going opposite ways, not really knowing where to go or what to do. So, you add in a pedestrian and it can get a little confusing,” says Bullington.

But he says it’s gotten better since the city changed the striping, allowing both lanes on 28th Street South to turn left onto University.

“I think that’s helped a lot, especially people trying to get over to the expressway,” says Buillington.

It’s a new effort by the city to make these kinds of changes to troublesome intersections. James Fowler is Director of the Department of Transportation.

“And the feedback from that has so far been positive. We’re currently looking back at the last three years of crash data to evaluate are there patterns that are still persisting? Or are there things we can adjust and change going forward?” says Fowler.

And they’re strengthening partnerships with the state’s department of transportation and local police to help with changes.

“So we’re looking city-wide at our intersections and data to make sure that we can identify any patterns or hot spots that we can take action on,” says Fowler.

Changes they can implement in other intersections include striping, crosswalk designs, and the timing of the traffic lights. They hope to make the urban parts of the city more walkable for pedestrians and safer for drivers.

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