There’s a saying that numbers never lie, and the truth is, recent crash data from the Department of Transportation paints a dangerous picture of roads across the state.
The 2017-2019 Urban Crash report ranked the 50 worst intersections in the state.
The Bismarck-Mandan area has 6 in the top 20 and another 10 ranked 21-50.
And when you look state wide, crash locations are also increasing in Williston and Minot.
Century and State ranks 3rd on the list, totaling 110 crashes between 2017 and 2019. 4 spots down the list at 7th.. is the intersection of State street and Interstate Avenue, immediately followed by Main Ave and 7th street.
The Bismarck Metropolitan Planning Organization lays out long term infrastructure plans for the region and heard the data during Monday’s meeting.
Rachel Drewlow is the organizations Transportation planner and says the regions population growth is partly to blame.
“For many years, our community was not used to having a lot of congestion, so now the 15 to 20 minutes on our way to work or school and then back home again in the afternoon that 15 or 20 minutes might become quite aggravating for drivers because we remember a time when we didn’t have to deal with that,” said Drewlow.
And while things may not be as bad in Minot, they still had 5 intersections make the list with the intersection of Broadway & 31st Ave SW being the worst ranked at #38.
Elsewhere, Williston has three locations making the top 50 list, with Mandan entering this years top 50 with the intersection of Main Street and Memorial Highway ranked at 47th.
“We do use this list to help identify trends or potential project ideas to reduce that conflict between vehicles and other vehicles or between vehicles and other users of the road such as pedestrians or bicyclist, said Bismarck City Engineer Gabe Schell.
Proposals to make state street safer have come up, including a study last year to build an alternate highway 83 to bypass the business district, but that plan was eventually scrapped, meaning it could be a while before major improvements are made.
“Sometimes there is no fix and sometimes we just have to learn to accept the roadway for what it is, we can certainly start taking alternative roads which can help those who need to travel on that corridor, travel more smoothly, additionally we can travel at different times,” said Drewlow
She adds minor improvements are in the works for state street in the coming years but it’s more in the preventive maintenance variety.
Seven intersections on the Bismarck Expressway also made the list and there are some plans to address some of those issues next year.
The worst intersection in the state was 32nd Ave South & 34th Street, which is in Grand Forks.