The juncture of Northwest 39th Avenue and 13th Street in Gainesville may appear to be your typical residential intersection, but during rush hour, this crossroad seems more like crash racing at a Demolition Derby show.
This busy intersection has been the site of 358 collisions from Jan. 1, 2014, to May 31, 2022. One of these crashes in June 2021 took the life of an 18-year-old Gainesville High School student.
There are 26,500 westbound vehicles and 20,400 eastbound vehicles that pass through the intersection of Northwest 39th Avenue every day of the year, which is more than any other road in the northern Gainesville region, according to Florida Traffic Online.
However, there are proposals to make the intersection safer from the Florida Department of Transportation. The proposed improvement, if given the go-ahead by the FDOT later this summer, would cost close to $300,000 and would not be finished until 2025.
The Northwest 39th Avenue left turn lanes would be extended to 13th Street and a new median would be built along those lanes in both the east and westbound directions. The medians would be 350 feet long in total. The only thing separating the lanes from the opposing-direction traffic now is a thin, flat median.
While this intersection is considered one of the most dangerous in Alachua County, it is surpassed by Northwest 39th Avenue and 34th Street, which saw 51 sideswipes, 147 rear end collisions, and 17 pedestrian and bicyclist accidents from Jan. 1, 2014-May 31, 2022, according to FDOT. More than 100 people were injured in car crashes surrounding the center of the intersection, which is the size of a neighborhood swimming pool.
In the first 20 days of 2023, the intersection saw six accidents.
In May 2022, Metric Engineering Inc., an engineering consulting company, conducted a safety analysis for the intersection in order to obtain crash data for the previous eight years and make field observations of the crossing.
According to the analysis’s data, left turns were to blame for 19% of the intersection’s 358 collisions that have been reported since 2014.
The safety analysis proposes the installation of traffic separators to block vehicles from executing left turns across Northwest 39th Avenue.
The safety analysis estimates that the planned improvements will cost $289,000 in total.
If allowed, temporary barriers would be installed on Northwest 39th Avenue in the fall of 2023.
Permanent concrete would be poured for traffic dividers in the fall of 2024, with construction wrapping up in the spring of 2025.
Serious injuries can result from intersection collisions. Anyone hurt in an automobile accident has the right to seek financial compensation for their losses. Our Gainesville Car Accident Lawyers Whittel & Melton can help you with every step of your claim, represent you in negotiations with insurance providers, and walk you through the legal process. During this difficult moment in your life, you deserve to have a capable attorney on your side. Call us right away at 352-264-7800 or contact us online for your free case assessment.