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What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections in Berkeley for Pedestrians?

Berkeley has a high rate of traffic collisions with pedestrians. Here are the areas with the highest number of incidents per year.

Between January 2001 and December 2009, there were 916 traffic collisions resulting in injury to pedestrians in Berkeley, or an average of 101 per year. There were 13 pedestrian fatalities during the same nine year period, averaging 1.4 per year. 

The City of Berkeley maintains a geographic database of traffic collisions involving pedestrians, pinpointing locations with data provided by the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). 

These incidents occur throughout Berkeley, with concentrations near downtown Berkeley, at major intersections and on major streets, including University Avenue, Ashby Avenue, San Pablo Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and Telegraph Avenue.  

Year Pedestrian Injuries Pedestrian Fatalities 2009 84 2 2008 91 0 2007 89 4 2006 98 0 2005 98 0 2004 101 4 2003 125 1 2002 126 1 2001 104 1

Where do the most traffic collisions involving pedestrians occur?

The areas with the highest number of traffic collisions involving pedestrians occur in the following areas, according to the City of Berkeley's Pedestrian Master Plan:

  • Downtown Berkeley
  • Claremont and Ashby
  • College and Ashby
  • MLK and Ashby
  • San Pablo and Ashby
  • San Pablo and University

However, while streets in Berkeley with higher numbers of pedestrians have higher incident rates, such as downtown and south of University Avenue, these areas were actually found to be less risky for walkers than other parts of the city.

What about when pedestrian volume is considered?

When the number of pedestrians in an area was factored in to the number of collisions per year, researchers found that Berkeley's busiest walking areas were not necessarily the most dangerous for pedestrians. Risk increases at major street crossings and decreases in residential areas, but all significant concentrations of risk are found at major junctions outside of the city center.

When averaging the number of incidents per pedestrian, the city found the following intersections to be high risk:

  • Cedar and Oxford
  • Hearst and Leroy
  • Claremont and Ashby
  • College and Ashby
  • MLK and Ashby
  • San Pablo and Ashby
  • San Pablo and University
  • Addison and Sacramento
  • Gilman and 6th

What about when traffic volume is taken into account?

The city also found that the most traffic collisions involving pedestrians occured either in areas with high volumes of both traffic and pedestrians, or low volumes of both traffic and pedestrians, and not in areas of the city that experience the most traffic collisions overall. 

When dividing the annual number of traffic collisions involving pedestrians by the volume of traffic, the city found the following intersections to be high risk:

  • Shasta and Queens
  • Ashby Tunnel and Alvarado
  • The Channing Corridor
  • Allston and McKinley
  • San Pablo and University
  • San Pablo and Bancroft

So... what is the most dangerous intersection in Berkeley for a pedestrian?

San Pablo and University was deemed high risk in each analysis of traffic collisions involving pedestrians.

What is the city doing about this problem?

In June 2010, the city adopted its Pedestrian Master Plan, which analysed the areas in Berkeley most in need of improving pedestrian safety. The plan outlines a number of projects aimed at reducing the number of incidents and making Berkeley a safer place for pedestrians. 

The Berkeley Police Department is also providing more enforcement at high-risk intersections to curb speeding and other risk factors, . 

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