KINGMAN – It comes as no surprise to local motorists that six of the 20 most dangerous signal intersections in Mohave County are on Stockton Hill Road, accounting for 917 crashes over the last 10 years.
Excluding ADOT-controlled intersections, Kingman takes the top six spots, with the intersection of Airway Avenue and Harrison Street and Willow Road ranking No. 1.
Overall, the worst intersection in the county is at State Route 95 and Marina Boulevard in Bullhead City, which has a crash frequency of 211, a crash rate of 1.60 and a severity index of 1.58.
Those are three criteria used by Amec Foster Wheeler to rank the intersections for the WACOG Strategic Transportation Safety Plan that will establish regional goals, strategies and safety projects.
“These 20 have the highest potential for safety improvement,” said Mike Blankenship, traffic engineer for Amec Foster Wheeler. “It’s up to not only WACOG (Western Arizona Council of Governments), but individual agencies if you want to change it.”
The ultimate goal is to save lives and reduce serious injuries, he said.
Blankenship reported a total of 26,840 crashes over a 10-year period in Mohave and La Paz counties, excluding Lake Havasu City, including 515 fatalities.
He presented the data Wednesday during a workshop that drew about 20 people, mostly public officials from Mohave County, Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City.
Lane departure was the leading cause of fatal crashes at 61 percent, followed by occupant protection (not wearing seatbelts) and speeding, both at 47 percent, and impaired driving at 32 percent.
Steve Latoski, director of Mohave County Public Works, said he didn’t want to detract from the work put into the rankings, but questioned equal weight being given to each of the three criteria.
He felt the severity of the crashes, particularly the number of fatalities, should weigh more heavily than crash frequency. He also noted discrepancies in the ownership of intersections on the list, as well as some confusion over road names.
Scott Kelley of Amec Foster Wheeler introduced a “segment” analysis that drops a three-tenths mile window over busy traffic corridors and can be moved along the corridor for a more “granular” identification of crash locations.
Frank Marbury, assistant city engineer for Kingman, said Beverly Avenue has “functionality issues” around Stockton Hill Road that lead to people pulling into the shopping center and exiting at the Staples intersection, which ranks No. 12 on signal intersections controlled by local agencies.
The city is looking at adding a third lane along Stockton Hill Road from Detroit to Airway Avenue, the most congested stretch of Stockton Hill Road with traffic backed up from one signal to the next.
Blankenship said you can’t tie congestion to safety, but Marbury responded that they’re somewhat related.
“You improve congestion, you improve safety,” Marbury said.
Blankenship said cities, counties and Arizona Department of Transportation are all chasing the same “pot of gold” for the state’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, which is typically $40 million a year.
However, with some of the money already allocated, the pot is around $25 million for the next couple of years, he said.
“I’m hearing three to four potential HSIP projects here in Kingman,” Blankenship said.
Signalized intersections ranking
SR 95 and Marina Boulevard
SR 95 and Camp Mohave Road
SR 95 and Ramar Road
SR 95, Hancock Road and Alta Vista Road
SR 95 and 3rd Street
SR 95 and Mohave Drive
Harrison Street, Willow Road and Airway Avenue
Stockton Hill Road and Airway Avenue
Stockton Hill Road and Gordon Drive
SR 68 and SR 95, Bullhead Parkway
Stockton Hill Road and Sycamore Avenue
SR 66 and Stockton Hill Road
SR 95 and Plata Drive
Stockton Hill Road and I-40 north ramp
Stockton Hill Road and Detroit Avenue
Airway Avenue and Bank Street
Lakeside drive and Hancock Road
Bullhead Parkway and Desert Foothills Drive
SR 95 and 7th Street
SR 95 and Bullhead Parkway