Traffic Accidents Down, Says Annual Traffic Report
Yearly Report Details City’s Traffic Patterns, Trail Use
Contact: Sarah Erkmann
ANCHORAGE- Three of the four collisions categories measured by the city show fewer traffic accidents than the year before, according to the Municipality of Anchorage’s 2010 Annual Traffic Report compiled by the city’s Traffic Department.
The categories showing reductions are: total number of collisions; number of injuries sustained in a collision; and vehicle/pedestrian collisions. One category, vehicle/bicycle collisions, showed an increase in the same time period.
The annual report provides detailed information about traffic accident trends, where they occur, traffic volumes on various roads and trails around the city, and posted speed limits on city roads.
“This report is a useful tool in showing us we’re making progress in Anchorage and identifying where we have more work to do,” said Mayor Dan Sullivan. “I’m pleased that Anchorage is becoming a safer city for drivers and pedestrians, although we still have challenges, particularly when it comes to cyclists in the roadway.”
Since taking office, the Sullivan administration has made road improvements to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety a top priority. This year, the city will spend more than $70 million on road construction, and work is underway on 28 road improvement projects.
According to the Traffic Report, the number of accidents on Anchorage roads peaked in 2001 at 8,515. That number has steadily declined ever since, with the exception of a slight increase in 2008. For 2010, the total number of accidents dropped to 7,056, a total reduction of 17 percent since the decline began.
The number of fatal accidents also dropped in 2010, from 20 in 2009 to just 12 in 2010. The high number was in 2002, when 34 fatal accidents were recorded.
The report says fewer collisions occurred between moose and cars in 2010, and that December was the worst overall month for all collision categories, of which rear-ending was the most common accident type.
Once again, Anchorage’s busiest road is the Seward Highway-Benson intersection, with an average daily traffic count of 80,300 vehicles. Other top intersections for traffic counts include Lake Otis and Tudor, C St. and Tudor and the Seward Highway and 36th Ave.
When it comes to non-vehicles, Anchorage’s busiest summertime trail in 2010 was the section of the Coastal Trail around Westchester Lagoon, with 12,247 users during an average week in August. The busiest winter trail was Chester Creek’s Eastchester Park Trail, with 2,219 users during an average December week.
Full copies of the Traffic Report are available on the city’s website.