Three intersections in Columbus' Northland neighborhood made a top-10 list of the region's most dangerous traffic spots, according to a list released Sept. 6 by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
An east Columbus intersection, East Livingston Avenue and Brice Road, jumped from 49th to ninth on the list in one year's time.
The annual MORPC list of the top 100 high-crash intersections for the region is based on a formula that considers the number and severity of crashes and traffic volume over three years, from 2015 to 2017.
The most dangerous intersection for that time period was East Dublin-Granville Road (state Route 161) at Maple Canyon Avenue, which was the 14th-most dangerous spot on the 2017 list. The first on last year's list, Hamilton Road at East Livingston Avenue, dropped to third.
The two other Northland intersections on the top-10 list are Morse and Karl roads, which remains No. 4, and East Dublin-Granville Road at Cleveland Avenue at No. 7, down from sixth in 2017.
Kerstin Carr, director of planning and environment for the MORPC, said the total number of crashes in the commission's transportation-planning area, which includes Franklin and Delaware counties and parts of Union, Fairfield and Licking counties, increased 21 percent from 2013 to 2017 -- from 34,447 to 41,749.
Much of it has to do with the region's growing population, Carr said. Distracted driving, much of it because of texting or other cellphone use, is another reason, she said.
Carr said the Ohio Department of Transportation has created a task force to increase awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Statewide, the number of crashes attributed to distracted driving rose from 12,308 in 2009 to 21,425 in 2017, a jump of 74 percent, ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning said.
Local government officials also are meeting to figure out how to curb the number of crashes, Carr said.
Eight of the top 10 high-crash intersections are in Columbus.
One, at East Livingston Avenue and Brice Road, is in Reynoldsburg. It's ninth on this year's list, up from 49th place in 2017.
The East Broad Street and Lancaster Avenue/Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road intersection is in Columbus but is near Reynoldsburg. It dropped to eighth place this year, down from fifth place in 2017.
The city of Columbus is working to improve some of its problem intersections, said Jeff Ortega, spokesman for the Columbus Department of Public Service.
For one, ODOT has approved funding for a traffic signal at the intersection of an access road and Cleveland Avenue near Route 161 in 2019, Ortega said.
New turn lanes are going in at Hamilton Road and Livingston Avenue, and the city is pursuing funding for design work and improvements for Route 161 and Maple Canyon.
Dave Cooper, president of the Northland Area Business Association, said the new traffic light near Cleveland Avenue and Route 161 should help.
He said community leaders have been working with city transportation officials to make safety improvements. That includes white-stripe "box junctions" designed to prevent congestion, reminding drivers not to enter the intersection unless they can clear it.
"We want to improve the safety of the area," Cooper said.
For the complete list of high-crash intersections, go to www.morpc.org/safety.