JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There are certain crash-prone areas on the First Coast that drivers may want to avoid. We've highlighted the five most dangerous intersections in Jacksonville and tracked down the Department of Transportation to find out what's being done about it.
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The numbers come from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, indicating high frequency crash sites in 2011.
The fifth highest is the intersection of Blanding Boulevard and Interstate 295. JSO worked 91 crashes in this area alone last year. And the fourth highest is in that same area, at the intersection of Blanding and Youngerman Circle, with 94 crashes. That makes a total of 185 crashes within that very small stretch of Blanding Blvd.
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The Florida Department of Transportation is working to fix the problem with the current construction project underway right now. Mike Goldman with FDOT said crews are building service roads parallel to I-295 between Morse Avenue and US-17.
"The FDOT traffic engineers review crash data trends to determine possible solutions for correctable crashes," Goldman said. "Some of these corrective measures include adding turn lanes, changing signs, adding pavement striping, adding street lighting, changing the signal timing and that type of thing."
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Goldman said the service roads they're building will let traffic exit at Collins Road to get into the Blanding and Argyle Forest areas, which will hopefully ease congestion and thus mean less crashes.
"Crashes are often caused by over capacity at intersections and congestion," Goldman said. "The majority of crashes at intersections occur during congested, peak hours."
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In the meantime, to avoid both of those intersections, drivers can take US-17 or Brannan field Road as alternate routes.
It's a very highly traveled route on the First Coast: Beach Boulevard and Southside Boulevard. That intersection ranks as the third most dangerous on our list. JSO responded to 100 crashes there in 2011.
Also on Beach Boulevard is our second most dangerous intersection at Beach and Hodges Boulevard. JSO reported 111 wrecks there last year.
Goldman said driver behavior is often the primary cause of crashes. "The dominate type of crashes at intersections generally are rear enders," he said.
Paying attention to your surroundings and being alert is one way to prevent yourself from getting into a rush hour wreck. And while J. Turner Butler Boulevard and Atlantic Boulevard are busy as well, they could be good alternate routes to avoid Beach Blvd. and the high frequency of crashes.
The number one most dangerous intersection on the First Coast is Baymeadows Road at Southside Boulevard. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office responded to 121 crashes there in 2011.
There is a project, which the FDOT should start in the fall of 2015, to add turn lanes at Baymeadows Road and Southside, according to Goldman.
"A reason for this apparent later date is the need to acquire right-of-way for the project," he said. But they hope the plan will ease area congestion.
J. Turner Butler Boulevard is a good alternate route to Baymeadows and Interstate 95 is an alternative to Southside Boulevard in the meantime.
It's important to note that the numbers in our top five list could actually be higher as it does not include crashes worked by the Florida Highway Patrol. Drivers can report what they perceive are unsafe traffic conditions on state roads to the FDOT traffic operations section at 360-5400.
"Local road problems should be reported to 630-CITY in Duval County or the respective municipalities in surrounding counties," Goldman said.
For a complete top 25 list of intersections with the highest accident volume that JSO responded to, click here.
First Coast News