Yes, Ada County, traffic is getting more congested on your commute
As police departments ramp up enforcement during the deadliest days for drivers to be on the road, statistics show a good portion of the Treasure Valley's most dangerous intersections are located on one stretch of road in Meridian.
The Boise Police Department and the Idaho Office of Highway Safety are patrolling the most dangerous intersections with high rates of crashes in Boise. Through July 13, there will be an increased officer presence at 19 local intersections, where there will be an emphasis on education and enforcement.
To find out more about dangerous intersections Treasure Valley wide, The Idaho Statesman requested the number collisions that occurred at various intersections throughout the Idaho Transportation Department's District Three transportation area, which is made up of Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington counties.
The statistics, from 2014 through 2016, were divided up into two major categories: the most dangerous intersections by frequency of accidents and by injury cost.
Of the top seven spots where crashes occurred most frequently, four of them were located in Meridian — three were on Eagle Road alone.
But ITD crash analyst Kelly Campbell doesn't think Eagle Road is necessarily more dangerous. It has a higher risk because of sheer volume.
"The more cars on the road, the more even a small error is amplified because there is a higher chance of hitting a car," Campbell said. "When there is only one other car on the road, (you are) less likely to hit it if you make a bad judgment. Add a lot more cars and that same error in judgment is more likely to end in a crash."
The highest number of crashes — 149 — occurred at the intersection of Cole Road and Overland Road in Boise.
Campbell said part of the reason for the high number of crashes at Cole Road and Overland Road is due to the abnormally high number of lanes.
"It has a lot of conflict points due to also being part of the interchange," Campbell said. "This intersection has three or four lanes of traffic moving through the intersection in each direction, plus two left turn lanes and a right turn lane. The other thing is that this is a highly commercialized area with Costco, Walmart and the cinema."
The intersection with the most injury crashes — 90 — occurred at Eagle Road and Fairview Avenue in Meridian. No fatalities were recorded at that intersection.
Of the top 40 intersections that had the most crashes in District Three, only three of those crashes resulted in fatalities.
After Cole Road/Overland Road and Eagle Road/Fairview Avenue, the most dangerous areas by crash frequency were:
- Eagle Road and Franklin Road, Meridian (128)
- Midland Boulevard and Nampa-Caldwell Boulevard, Nampa (119)
- Eagle Road and Ustick Road, Meridian (118)
- Cole Road and Fairview Avenue, Boise (111)
- Fairview Avenue and Locust Grover Road, Meridian (101)
There were four different intersections in District Three where two fatal crashes occurred. Each spot had, at most, four total crashes over the span.
There were a total of two crashes reported at 43rd West Street and Ustick Road in Garden City. Both, however, resulted in fatalities. They were not a result of high speed limits, Campbell said.
"Both crashes were individuals who lost control of their vehicles," Campbell said. "The first was a car and witnesses said the driver was being very aggressive and passed at a speed higher than the posted speed limit. The second was a motorcycle that was turning onto Ustick from 43rd and lost control as she was accelerating."
Multiple fatalities also occurred at Boise's Airport Way and Development Avenue, Interstate 84 at milepost 64 and U.S. Highway 95 at at milepost 158.
Statistically speaking, 30 percent of all fatal or significant injury crashes in Idaho from 2012 through 2016 took place between July and September. The day of the week with the most fatal/significant injury crashes was Tuesday (17 percent), and the time of day with the most of those type crashes was from 3 p.m. until 5:59 p.m. (27 percent).
"There are more people on the road during the summer," Campbell said. "Also, people tend to slow down when there is bad weather and are more alert."