Well, it was a tough competition for America’s Worst Intersection, with a lot of worthy contenders — the kind of intersections that would make an Olympic sprinter nervous. But the people have spoken — 468 of them — and in the end it wasn’t even close. Our winner is Omaha, Nebraska’s intersection of 132nd Street, Industrial Road, Millard Avenue, and L Street.
#1. Omaha, Nebraska: 132nd Street, Industrial Road, Millard Avenue, and L Street
Take one final look at this sad excuse for a public space, featuring no crosswalks and only the faintest traces of a sidewalk. Special thanks again to John Amdor for the submission. Fully 29 percent of voters, or 136 people, voted for this intersection.
In Transportation for America’s 2011 “Dangerous by Design” report on pedestrian fatalities, Nebraska actually ranked 48th, making it one of the “safest.” But we suspect that’s mostly because walking is unusual in this state. Looking at this picture you can understand why.
#2. St. Louis, Missouri: 141 and Gravois Road
With 98 votes (21 percent), our formidable runner-up was Missouri 141 and Gravois Road in St. Louis, pictured above. Again, we have dangerous channelized right turns and no visible crosswalks or sidewalks. Commenter Tom F made the case for this intersection being the worst of the worst by explaining that the bus stop requires employees and shoppers to cross this busy road to reach nearby big box retailers. “Imagine if you worked there and had to walk from that bus stop to work very day!”
T4A ranked Missouri the 17th most dangerous place to move around on two feet. More than 800 pedestrians were killed in this state between 2000 and 2009. Black people were about three times as likely to be struck down by a car while on foot than whites.
#3. Savannah, Georgia: Abercorn Street and White Bluff Road
Savannah, Georgia’s Abercorn Street and White Bluff Road was close behind with 93 votes. This is a confusing tangle, sidewalk-challenged and devoid of crosswalks. It bears a striking resemblance to our first-place winner. In a comment on this entry, Transportation for America’s Stephen Lee Davis wrote: “I voted for Savannah simply because of the crazy confusion of the curved lanes and the fact that I’m not sure how you would even go about illegally crossing the road on the east/right side of that picture. Terrifying.”
Georgia, home to one of the most outrageous pedestrian injustices of our time, the Raquel Nelson case, was ranked as the 10th most dangerous state for pedestrians by T4A. More than 1,500 peds were killed on Georgia’s roads between ’00 and ’09.
This competition was entirely crowd-sourced by the brilliant brain trust of our readers. We received eight nominations from across the country and they were all terrible.
We’d like to extend thanks to all our voters. Remember, we’re all winners, as long as we never have to cross these streets.