Three intersections on Ridge Avenue top the list of Evanston's most dangerous intersections in 2011, according to data released as part of the police department's annual report.
With a total of 21 car crashes each, the intersections of Ridge Avenue with Lake Street and Ridge Avenue with Church Street had the greatest number of crashes that year. Coming in a close second was the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Emerson Street, with 19 crashes.
The total number of car crashes in Evanston has gone down by 16.5 percent in the past four years, and police have made significant progress in reducing crashes at several intersections from previous years' top ten lists. Leading the list with 25 crashes in 2009, the intersection of Davis and Ridge declined to No. 10 in 2011, with just 14 crashes. And the intersection of Dodge and Dempster, which topped the 2007 list with 43 crashes, was down to 14 crashes in 2011.
According to Police Cmdr. Thomas Moore, who headed the traffic unit for the past four years, beefed up enforcement and improved engineering has helped reduce crashes at trouble spots like Dempster and Dodge. At that intersection in particular, the city has increased the visibility of the signals and lane markers and improved the brightness of the signals themselves, he said.
"Our traffic unit had spent considerable time out there looking to reduce crashes due to enforcement," Moore added.
Although the total number of crashes has gone down in the past four years, intersections on Ridge Avenue continue to round out the top ten, year after year.
“My primary theory on that is because it’s such a highly traveled route,” Moore said. “There are tens of thousands of cars that travel there on a daily basis.”
The fact that the lanes are narrower on Ridge may play a role in the number of accidents, but Moore said it isn’t always a factor.Intersection Number of Crashes Ridge/Lake 21 Ridge/Church 21 Ridge/Emerson 19 Dodge/Main 18 1700 Sherman 18 Dempster / Asbury 16 Asbury/Howard 16 Green Bay/Emerson 15 Dempster/Dodge 14 Davis/Ridge 14