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Crashes on area roadways, intersections have leveled off

8/1/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

GREATER AKRON — The number of crashes on Greater Akron area roadways and intersections remains stable, according to the latest three-year analysis compiled by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS).

The agency’s analysis found there were 50,573 crashes in Portage and Summit counties between 2010 and 2012, which is nearly the same as 2009 and 2011. Similarly, the number of injuries and fatalities remains largely unchanged.

Dave Pulay, AMATS transportation engineer, said the agency has documented an overall leveling off in crashes on the area’s roadways and intersections during the last several years, with the total number of crashes hovering in a range of 16,000 to 17,000 per year.

“Thankfully, the overall trend over the past 10 years has been down,” Pulay said.

Agency officials believe that the completion of safety projects throughout the Greater Akron area is contributing to the improving crash totals. According to agency officials, the region could see future declines as new projects — such as Cuyahoga Falls’ recently completed improvements at the intersection of Main Street and Howe Avenue — will be fully factored in during the agency’s next three-year analysis, which will span 2011 through 2013.

For its most recent analysis, AMATS identified 123 high-crash roadway sections and 263 high-crash intersections in the Greater Akron area. AMATS prepares its reports based on crash records provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. As the agency responsible for transportation planning in the area, AMATS uses this information to identify needed projects throughout the area. Communities rely on the report when applying for Highway Safety Program funds through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), according to AMATS officials.

Other findings of the analysis include:

  • Akron is home to five of the 10 highest ranked high-crash roadway sections and six of the highest ranked high-crash intersections in the Greater Akron area.
  • Alcohol was a factor in 4 percent of all area crashes, but was a factor in 44 percent of all fatal crashes.
  • The area’s intersections account for 46 percent of total crashes during the three-year period.
  • Pedestrian-related crashes decreased from 177 in 2011 to 148 in 2012.
  • Out of 481 pedestrian-related crashes during the three-year period, 86 percent resulted in an injury and 3 percent in a fatality. Out of these total crashes, 12 percent involved children 12 and younger.
  • Out of 331 bicycle-related crashes, 78 percent resulted in an injury and one of them in a fatality. Twenty-one percent of these total crashes involved children 12 and younger.

Pulay added that the upcoming freeway analysis for the entire state will be compiled by ODOT. The results for the Greater Akron area will be released in the coming weeks and will be posted on AMATS’ website, www.amatsplanning.org. For more information, call AMATS at 330-375-2436. The 2010-12 Crash Report and reports dating back to 2005 are available on the website.

 

Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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