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Allegheny

The 10 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Allegheny County

| Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 4:18 p.m.
One of Allegheny County's most dangerous intersections is at Forbes Avenue and McKee Place, in Oakland. There have been nine reported incidents here.
Google
One of Allegheny County's most dangerous intersections is at Forbes Avenue and McKee Place, in Oakland. There have been nine reported incidents here.
A map created by the Pittsburgh law firm Hal K. Waldman & Associates and 1Point21, a San Diego, California-based data visualization company, shows crashes involving pedestrians around Pittsburgh.
Hal K. Waldman & Associates
A map created by the Pittsburgh law firm Hal K. Waldman & Associates and 1Point21, a San Diego, California-based data visualization company, shows crashes involving pedestrians around Pittsburgh.

Nine people were hit by vehicles at an Oakland intersection in the last five years — the most of all intersections in Allegheny County during that timeframe.

The corner of Forbes Avenue and McKee Place topped a list of intersections with the most pedestrian crashes in the county from 2013 through 2017, according to a new study by a Pittsburgh law firm and a San Diego data firm .

"Nine (crashes) at that one intersection is a lot over that period," said Brian Beltz, who headed up the project at San Diego-based 1Point21, and has done similar analyses in Texas and California.

O'Hara law firm Hal Waldman and Associates reached out to 1Point21 with the idea for the project to raise awareness of problematic intersections to make pedestrians and drivers more careful, said Thomas Berret, an attorney at the firm.

"We represent lots of people that were injured in pedestrian-versus-vehicle accidents," Berret said. "They tend to be more significant and more traumatic injuries because it's a person versus a car or a person versus a motorcycle."

Using PennDOT data, the study found 1,985 pedestrian crashes in the county during the timeframe. Of those, 178 resulted in major injuries and 70 in deaths.

Oakland intersections made the list frequently. Fifth or Forbes avenues were included in 13 of the top 50 intersections, accounting for 65 crashes, one fatality and three major injuries, the study said.

Many Downtown intersections made the list. Ross Street and Sixth Avenue, next to Steel Plaza, was second with eight crashes and one major injury.

Six intersections along Carson Street on the South Side made the list, accounting for 26 crashes, one death and four major injuries.

The study showed only a handful of crashes in the portion of the Alle-Kiski Valley in Allegheny County.

Of the top 24 intersections with the most crashes, only one was not in the city of Pittsburgh. The intersection of State Route 148 and Evans Street in McKeesport, near UPMC McKeesport, ranked eighth.

That caught Beltz's eye, prompting him to look it up on Google Maps.

"It's not very well marked," Beltz said. "It doesn't appear there's a lot of safety in mind. If you're going fast there, it would probably be difficult to see somebody crossing the street."

Beltz would like to analyze the top 10 intersections to see if safety improvements can be made.

"Most of the time it's probably not the road design; it's someone being negligent," he said. "We want to find out if there could be something there that could be changed, or do people just need to pay more attention."

Pennsylvania is one of nine states where a quarter or more of its pedestrian fatalities occurred at intersections, according to a study released this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association. In the three years between 2014 through 2016, 118 pedestrian fatalities occurred statewide at intersections — 25 percent of all pedestrian fatalities during those years, the study found.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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