For the second year in a row, Sebastopol Road at Stony Point Road is Santa Rosa’s most dangerous intersection with 20 collisions there in 2010.
That’s one crash more than in 2009, according to Santa Rosa police statistics, which include only collisions where officers took reports. They don’t include collisions handled by the drivers and reported to their insurance companies.
Exactly why Sebastopol Road/Stony Point Road is the worst is somewhat a mystery.
Santa Rosa Police Officer Jeff Adams, who oversees the Police Department’s program that focuses on problem intersections, said he didn’t have a particular reason why the intersection continues to rank No. 1 in crashes and didn’t have a breakdown on the causes of the 20 collisions.
Sgt. Lance Badger, who helps oversee the department’s traffic officers, speculated that the No. 1 ranking is a result of it being one of the busiest intersections in Santa Rosa.
“If you have a high volume of vehicles, there’ll likely be more collisions,” he said.
Road Warrior checked out the intersection one day last week during lunch and didn’t see anything that’s really different from most intersections.
Most drivers performed the California stop when turning right on a red light from any direction. Almost only when an oncoming car was too close did drivers actually stop before turning.
Many drivers also entered the intersection when the light was yellow, whether making a turn or going straight. Only one car ran a red light — a banged-up, dark blue compact. (That might explain the dents.)
Update: Robert Sprinkle, the city’s traffic engineer, said the police stats don’t tell the full story, noting that when in the past he reviewed collision reports for the intersection he found some actually occurred north of it at the Stony Point entrance to the FoodMax shopping center. He said that when investigating traffic safety at a particular intersection, it’s important to look at nearby intersections to see if there’s a wider problem or a wider solution. Sprinkle also said the city plans to widen southbound Stony Point Road when funding becomes available.
Later this week, we’ll list last year’s top intersections in the city for collisions, so please check back.