You don’t have to advise Philip Murray to stay off Stockton Hill Road whenever possible. He knows it’s as dangerous as the Walmart parking lot, where his car got banged up.
A resident of Kingman for more than 20 years, Murray takes the “back roads” like Western Avenue when he has to drive his wife to CVS Pharmacy and nearby doctor offices, winding his way back to Gordon Drive before getting on Stockton Hill Road to return home.
“I try to avoid it as much as possible,” he said while waiting in the CVS parking lot. “I’ll go down Willow (Street). I try not to drive too much.”
According to Kingman Police Department, six of the top 10 intersections with the most accidents are located along the main commercial corridor, led by Stockton Hill Road and Airway Avenue with 211 crashes over the last five years.
Some 25,000 to 31,000 vehicles a day travel Stockton Hill Road, said Sgt. David Reif, head of the traffic division for KPD.
“It’s a congested area in that traffic way,” he said. “Between Detroit (Avenue) and Airway, and the traffic coming on and off the highway, we see all types of accidents … inattentive drivers, some are red lights, running stop signs.”
KPD issued 27 citations for failure to stop at the red light at Stockton Hill and Detroit in a 12-month period of 2016-17, and 125 citations for illegal right turn or failure to obey a traffic control device at Stockton Hill and Airway, Reif said.
Whether drivers are distracted by mobile devices or simply not paying attention to other drivers on the road, they caused 1,111 traffic crashes in 2017 that resulted in citations, KPD reported.
“Simply slow down and pay attention to your surroundings and don’t be in such a rush,” Reif recommended. “It’s more important to get to your final destination than to be in a hurry to get there.
“The other thing is if they take alternative routes using other surface streets, it might benefit them and you have less congestion. We are creatures of habit. We like the same driving path.”
Mike Prior, assistant engineer for the City of Kingman, said the city is looking at adding a third lane along Stockton Hill from Detroit to Airway, the most congested stretch of the road with afternoon traffic often backed up from one signal to the next.
“There’s some locations along Stockton Hill Road where we’re looking for right of way,” he said. “A majority of right of way is 100 feet, but there are some areas where’s it’s wider.”
Also, Beverly Avenue has “functionality issues” around Stockton Hill Road that cause people to pull into the shopping center and exit at the stoplight, which ranks No. 12 among signal intersections controlled by local agencies.
KPD is proposing the installation of traffic cameras at high-risk intersections such as Stockton Hill and Airway, Stockton Hill and Detroit, and Andy Devine Avenue and Hualapai Mountain Road.
They’re not for catching speeders, but red light violators, Reif said.
Traffic crashes are reduced 33 percent when drivers are aware of traffic cameras at intersections, he noted.
“The main thing is we simply want the motoring public to have a safe commute from start to finish,” Reif said. “It’s our goal to change driver behavior, not to issue citations.”