Bad news for people who live and commute in eastern Franklin County: You routinely travel through riskier intersections than folks driving in other parts of the county.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission released its annual list Aug. 30 of the intersections in the region with the most crashes -- and every single one in the top 10 is east of Interstate 71.
The worst intersection for 2014-16, the years analyzed, was at East Livingston Avenue and South Hamilton Road, which had a high crash rate, one fatal crash and four serious-injury crashes.
Rounding out the top five were East Broad Street at James Road; Cleveland Avenue at Innis Road; Karl Road at Morse Road; and East Broad Street at Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road (also called Lancaster Avenue).
To rank the intersections, MORPC maps the Ohio Department of Transportation's crash data and includes only those crashes that are within 250 feet of intersections. It then calculates a severity index, using a formula that factors in fatal and serious-injury crashes, minor injuries, possible-injury crashes, property damage and the overall number of crashes, along with average daily traffic.
As MORPC points out in its explanation, "the locations on the high-crash intersection list are not necessarily 'dangerous.' In many cases, the number of crashes is a function of the number of vehicles that enter the intersection, rather than an indication of a correctable safety problem."
Still, the city of Columbus takes the ranking seriously, said Jeff Ortega, assistant director in the city's Public Service Department, and improvements are being made at "many, if not most, of the Columbus intersections on the list."
That includes No. 1, East Livingston Avenue at South Hamilton Road, where the city is preparing to start work on improvements.
Broad Street has problematic intersections from east to west, with 18 intersections on the list of the top 100 with crashes. Seven on the list are along East Dublin-Granville Road, or Route 161. Six are found on Hamilton Road south of Broad Street.
The top 10 intersections with the most crashes generally remain the same from survey to survey, though there are occasional changes.
Among the prime movers in this most recent survey: Dublin-Granville Road at Maple Canyon Avenue, usually in the top 10, fell to 14th this year from third last year.
Cleveland Avenue at Morse Road, fourth on last year's list, fell to 18th. MORPC notes that turn lanes were added in 2010 and that the traffic signal will be retimed late this year.
Moving significantly toward the top (meaning the worst intersections) were Cleveland Avenue at East Hudson Street, which jumped from 40th last year to No. 10 this year. The severity of crashes declined there, but their frequency increased as traffic increased. A safety study of the intersection is being conducted now, the report says.
Morse Road at Westerville Road climbed to eighth from 22nd, with its crash rate increasing even as the average daily traffic declined slightly.