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Top 10 worst intersections in Waterloo region

The roundabout at the intersection of Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road.
The roundabout at the intersection of Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road. Google Maps

Few Kitchenerites will be surprised to learn that the intersection of Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road is the worst in the Waterloo region in terms of collisions.

The Region of Waterloo released its annual report of the worst regional road intersections for collisions on Tuesday.

“The primary intent of it is to identify where improvements are needed on our network,” explained Bob Henderson, Manager of Transportation Engineering with the Region of Waterloo. ”We have some staff that take that information and put it to real use.”

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There were around 3,322 intersections ranked with the infamous Kitchener intersection topping the list.

Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road has been the site of 490 crashes over the past five years including 90 in 2018. The region projects the total social cost of the collisions to be $255,549.

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Social cost was the main factor in ranking the collisions. It’s a number which is derived by several factors including injuries.

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“It also accounts for the volume at an intersection,” Henderson noted.

Here are the Top 10 worst intersection in 2018, followed by the number of crashes over the past five years and their total social cost.

1. Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road, Kitchener: 490 crashes in last five years, social cost of $255,549
2. Fairway Road and Wilson Avenue, Kitchener: 161 crashes in last five years, social cost of $153,303
3. Hespeler Road and Bishop Street, Cambridge: 118 crashes in last five years, social cost of $113,288
4. Hespeler Road and Maple Grove Road and Fischer Mills Road, Cambridge: 61 crashes in last five years, social cost of $101,642
5. Hespeler Road and Beaverdale Road and Queen Street, Cambridge: 250 crashes in last five years, social cost of $94,046
6. Ottawa Street and Strasburg Road, Kitcnener: 83 crashes in last five years, social cost of $86,340
7. Hespeler Road and Can Amera Parkway/YMCA, Cambridge: 84 crashes in last five years, social cost of $82,528
8. Homer Watson Boulevard and Manitou Drive/Doon Village Road, Kitchener: 118 crashes in last five years, social cost of $80,187
9. Homer Watson Boulevard and Pioneer Drive, Kitchener: 97 crashes in last five years, social cost of $79,703
10. King Street and Bishop Street, Cambridge: 41 crashes in last five years, social cost of $79,083

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The region’s report says that the number of car crashes are continuing to fall on a per capita basis.

It also says that collisions involving cyclists are following a downward trend despite the fact that more people are pedaling down regional roads.

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The worst intersection in the region is Hespeler Road in Cambridge at Munch and Isherwood avenues, which has seen eight collisions over the past five years. The estimated social cost has been $81,261.

Hespeler Road at Bishop Street has also seen eight crashes over the same period, while five other collisions involving bicycles occurred at Hespeler Road where it crosses Avenue Road and Jaffray Street.

In Kitchener, there have been five crashes over the past five years at the intersection of Courtland and Siebert avenues.

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While the region says the numbers improved for cyclists and motorists, the same cannot be said for pedestrians.

“The vast majority of them occur at signalized intersections,” Henderson said. “We know that in general there’s a misconception out there that traffic signals generally make pedestrians safe.

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“But we know that when you consolidate motor vehicles and pedestrians into a small environment like an intersection, there’s more likelihood for conflict to occur.”

He says region staff are looking for ways to solve the issue.

“We feel that a lot of the interventions that we’ve made over the last 10 years to prevent pedestrian collisions from happening are having a positive impact,” he explained.

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The worst intersection for pedestrians is in the City of Waterloo at University Avenue and Albert Street. There have been nine crashes over the past five years with a total social cost of $89,799.

The intersection of Ainslie and Main streets has also had experienced eight crashes involving pedestrians in five years with a cost of $87,667.

The worst intersection in Kitchener for pedestrian crashes is Kingsway Drive and Wilson Avenue which has experienced six crashes with a total social cost of $66,236.

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