Work began Monday to fix one of Austin's five most dangerous intersections: U.S. 183 and Cameron Road.
City leaders have been talking about efforts to save lives at those intersections for more than a year as a part of the city's "Vision Zero" action plan. After 2015 saw a record high of 102 traffic deaths, the city implemented several measures to try to stem the flow of fatalities on the road.
Most of the accidents happened between midnight and 6 a.m. Pedestrians made up about 30 percent of the victims. City leaders identified several weak spots around Austin with issues such as poor lighting, inadequate crossing safety or unsafe lane configurations.
Improvements at U.S. 183 and Cameron Road include:
- A pedestrian island on the northeast corner to break up the distance people have to walk to get across
- Lengthening the median in the middle of the street to add another pedestrian refuge space
- Adding high-visibility crosswalks
- Installing an advance warning flasher on the eastbound U.S. 183 frontage road ahead of the traffic signal at Cameron Road. This alerts drivers ahead of time that they'll need to slow down
The $268,000 project is expected to be complete by mid-November. There will be no day closures, but crews expect some overnight closures.
The overall goal of "Vision Zero" is to reduce vehicle and pedestrian accidents.
Here are the five most dangerous intersections as identified by the Austin Transportation Department:
- Cameron Road and U.S. 183 -- improvements underway.
- I-35 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard -- improvements complete.
- Lamar Boulevard and Rundberg Lane -- improvements expected in November.
- Lamar Boulevard and Parmer Lane -- improvements expected in January.
- Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road -- improvements expected spring 2017.