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Austin sees drop in crashes at dangerous intersections

Crashes at some of Austin's most dangerous intersections are on the decline.

Some of the most dangerous intersections in Austin have recently seen a significant drop in accidents.

The city said the number of crashes has gone down because it has made a number of several improvements to those intersections.

Martin Luther King Boulevard and the Interstate 35 Frontage Road intersection saw the greatest decrease in crashes -- a 61 percent crash reduction -- compared to the years before the improvements were made – dating back to 2012.

And some commuters, like Maggie Garrett, have noticed the changes.

"Before they fixed it, we used to hear emergency vehicles and crashes almost on a weekly basis,” said Garrett. "That's changed significantly. People seem happier."

Last year, with help from TxDOT, the city added elevated stops at right turns for pedestrians, an extra southbound lane and more visible crosswalks.

"We considered all these improvements to take out the conflicts that are contributing to all these crashes,” said Upal Barua program manager with the city’s transportation safety improvement department.

Similar changes have been made to U.S. 183 and Cameron Road., where 57 percent of crashes decreased.

Among the improvements there included a flashing warning sign.

At Lamar and Parmer Lane, 43 percent of crashes went down.

And at Lamar and Rundberg, crashes decreased by 22 percent.

About $1,651,000 has been spent by the city on the construction of the improvements, with one more project improvement still pending.

"Two years ago, in October of 2015, council appropriated special funds to deal with the high crash intersections,” said Amica Bose, project manager with the city’s intersection safety projects.

Though improvements have been made, if you still see issues, you are asked to call the city's 311 line.

For Maggie Jarrett, the improvements to MLK and I-35, are noticeable.

"Less road rage,” she said. “Including myself! I find it much easier to navigate now."

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