Top 10 Most Dangerous Intersections in Evanston

Evanston police released a list of the intersections where the greatest number of car crashes occurred in 2011 as part of the department's annual report. Total car crashes have decreased overall in the past four years.

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
Lonson Williams June 05, 2012 at 07:36 PM
This is not surprising that intersections on Ridge top the list. The main problem is that it is a four lane road with great distances between stop lights. The easiest way to reduce accidents is to open the road up to alternative modes of transportation. Ridge is the only road where cycling is prohibited. There is more than enough room to change the road configuration from a 4-lane to a 3-lane road (left turn lane in the middle) and put protected bike lanes going in each direction. This makes the road more accessible to everyone and slows the dangerous car traffic. There is no reason that there should be four lanes of traffic on Ridge in Evanston--that is too much capacity.
annie June 05, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Lonson, I like your idea. I honestly dread driving on Ridge because it IS so narrow and a lot of traffic.
Faith June 06, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I agree with Lonson. Annie, too. Ridge is way too narrow. I rarely ever drive on it.
Lonson Williams June 06, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Annie & Faith, The idea is not really novel. Other communities are doing similar modifications. In transportation planning terms they call it improving the "road diet." The more modes you safely plan and build infrastructure for, the safer the street. Unfortunately, the City Council and staff leaders rarely act progressively to improve our transportation options, instead favoring most infrastructure expenditures for the least efficient and most expensive form of transport: cars. Here is a good article from the US Dept. of Transportation on Road Diets: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/11septoct/05.cfm
Don Durkes June 21, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I wonder if Roycemore's new location at Davis/Ridge plus the adjacent park plus the museum on Oak will have a negative effect. Perhaps it's time to add another stoplight to Ridge?


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