Poll: The Hunt for the Worst Intersection in America Continues

Earlier this week we looked at the intersection of Route 355 and Shady Grove Road near Rockville, Maryland, flagged by Ben Ross at Greater Greater Washington for being especially hostile to pedestrians, even though it’s the site of a bus stop. We asked if it might be the worst intersection in the country and put out a call for readers to send their nominations for the title.

As some readers pointed out, the Rockville intersection at least has sidewalks on all four corners and some refuges for pedestrians caught mid-crossing, so it certainly can’t be nation’s worst. Several other submissions landed in our inbox where the engineers let the sheer car-centricity of the roads overwhelm the meager provisions for pedestrians even more.

Wouldn’t you know it: We received three nominations from Florida, which Transportation for America has singled out as the most dangerous state for pedestrians. One reader sent us this stunner: State Route 7 and Forest Hill Boulevard in Wellington, Florida. From this satellite picture, it looks like a walk around this intersection would cross 45 lanes, plus — is that a bike lane? Wouldn’t want to be in the middle of that on a Cannondale:

Moving on. Another nomination came in via Twitter from Thomas Hawkins: Gainesville’s Archer Road and 34th Street. I’m counting 34 lanes. On the other hand, there are sidewalks — granted, they’re sort of poor-man’s sidewalks with no buffer between all the traffic — and at least a few painted crosswalks. Also there are some slip lanes in there — the channelized shortcuts for drivers making right turns — to add a dash more excitement for everyone crossing the street. For your consideration:

Finally, Bloomingdale Avenue and US 301 in West Brandon, Florida, via our Twitter friend Dave K. He points out the use of triple right and left turn lanes, which must be a Florida thing. There are a few scattered crosswalks, but not a complete ring. I count 33 lanes. Again we see the use of channelized right turns — a major risk factor of pedestrians.

But enough about Florida. Whatcha got, the rest of the United States? Let’s turn to the intersection of 132nd Street, Industrial Road, Millard Avenue, and L Street in Omaha, Nebraska. Obviously this one boasts a near-total lack of sidewalks and no crosswalks at all. Impressive! Extra points for the confusing tangle of lane markings for cars in the center. I’m counting 30 lanes. Thanks for the submission, John Amdor.

Now let’s take a gander at Missouri 141 and Gravois Road in St. Louis. This entry comes to us from the editor of the Seattle Bike Blog, who spent his formative years in this region. Looks like this intersection has about 25 lanes, no sidewalks and no crosswalks. Our source also tells us this is right next to a “kids’ play center.” Yeesh.

This picture of the intersection of Abercorn Street and White Bluff Road in Savannah, Georgia, comes to us from an anonymous source. It’s hard to know for certain how many lanes there are, honestly. I count 27. No sidewalks or crosswalks to boot! Are those channelized right turns, or is the whole road a channel?

Finally comes this beauty from San Francisco. I’m not even sure exactly what’s going on here at Potrero Avenue and Division Street, right in the heart of the city. Clearly a respectable contender, with the added discomfort of being topped by a freeway. Thanks to Twitter follower Josh Bingham for the nomination!

Well, folks, what do you think? It’s up to you, our mighty brain trust of Streetsblog readers and Twitter followers, to vote for the most awful and dangerous intersection in the country. Take your pick:

Which intersection is the worst?

  • 132nd Street, Industrial Road, Millard Avenue, and L Street in Omaha, Nebraska (29%, 136 Votes)
  • Missouri 141 and Gravois Road in St. Louis (21%, 98 Votes)
  • Abercorn Street and White Bluff Road in Savannah, Georgia (20%, 93 Votes)
  • Potrero Avenue and Division Street in San Francisco (10%, 49 Votes)
  • Gainesville’s Archer Road and 34th Street (8%, 36 Votes)
  • State Route 7 and Forest Hill Boulevard in Wellington, Florida (6%, 29 Votes)
  • Route 355 and Shady Grove Road near Rockville, Maryland (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Bloomingdale Avenue and US 301 in West Brandon, Florida (3%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 468

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