AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin’s Transportation Department overhauled 19 intersections across the city since 2016 to alleviate the number of crashes.
Here are the 19 intersections and when the work was completed:
- IH-35 and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. — November 2016
- U.S. 183 and Cameron Rd. (NE and EB) — December 2016
- N. Lamar Blvd.-Rutland Dr. to Rundberg Ln. — June 2017
- N. Lamar Blvd. and Parmer Ln. — July 2017
- S. Pleasant Valley Rd. and Elmont Dr. — June 2018
- S. Congress Ave. and Oltorf St. — July 2018
- 45th St. and Red River St. — October 2018
- Slaughter Ln. and Menchaca Rd. — January 2019
- Slaughter Ln. and Cullen Ln. — January 2019
- IH-35 and Braker Ln. — July 2019
- Slaughter Ln. and S. 1st St. — October 2019
- N. Lamar Blvd. and Payton Gin Rd. — January 2021
- Lakeline Blvd. and U.S. 183 — April 2021
- N. Lamar Blvd. and Morrow St. — July 2021
- N. Lamar Blvd. and St. Johns Ave. — August 2021
- Braker Ln. and Stonelake Blvd. — September 2021
- Oltorf St. and Parker Ln. — October 2021
- Rundberg Ln. and IH-35 — January 2022
- Cameron Rd. and Ferguson Ln. — May 2022
Of the 19, officials studied 13 for a year and found deadly crashes and serious injuries dropped by 31%.
However, the report also showed during that time, all crashes throughout the city for the year decreased by 4%, but serious injury or fatal crashes increased by 8%.
“We’re certainly seeing a lot more people walking and biking than before, and we’ve got a very urban environment in Austin, particularly in the center core of the city,” explained Lewis Leff with the city’s transportation department. “So we’ve got to adapt our transportation network to really reflect what we’re seeing and how people are choosing to get around, particularly in times of high gas prices.”
The report also highlighted how various types of improvements or what the city calls “safety treatments” made a difference. In order to study this impact, the city came up with six categories focused on “treatments” commonly implemented to address crashes.
Here’s what the analysis found:
• Locations with treatments to address left-turn across path crashes saw a 56% reduction in
crashes and a 55% reduction in injury or fatal crashes of this crash type.
• Locations with treatments to address red-light running crashes saw a 9% reduction in both total
and injury or fatal red light running crashes.
• Locations with treatments to address rear-end crashes saw a 20% reduction in rear-end crashes
and a 6% reduction in injury or fatal rear-end crashes.
• Locations with treatments to address bicycle-involved crashes saw a 33% and 57% reduction in
total crashes and injury or fatal crashes involving bicycles, respectively.
• Locations with treatments to address pedestrian-involved crashes saw a 19% reduction in
crashes and a 23% reduction in injury or fatal crashes involving pedestrians.
• Driveways at locations that got treatments to address access management-related
crashes saw an 84% decrease in access-related crashes and a 100% reduction in injury or fatal
crashes of this type.
Paco Jiménez Osorio, a local tire shop employee who works near the intersection of I-35 and Braker Lane said, “I think there needs to be more work done, because there are daily crashes at this intersection.”
He also added “when it rains, some drivers even crash into the guardrail.”
While at Parmer Lane and North Lamar Boulevard, longtime business owner Qurban Ali said the city had, “changed a whole lot and we love it.”
His Prime Mart gas station has sat at the corner of the intersection for 20 years, and he believes the improvements have helped with the flow of traffic.
“[It] used to be bad accidents,” he explained. “Now it’s very good; no accidents here anymore.”
Next, the city plans to improve 11 other locations with crews expected to get work done at six major intersections by next year.