|Posted by Allen Stasiewski / WEAL VP on February 21, 2012 at 10:30 PM|
A common reason given for building the West Waukesha Bypass (other than its been on the map for over 40 years) is that it will improve safety. We're busy digging into the accident reports and wondered about that statement. Here's some of what we found.
We analyzed reports from 2008 thru 2011 that cover the entire length of the proposed west bypass expansion from i94 to Hwy 59 along Medowbrook/TT, Sunset, and St Paul.
During the 4 year time period there were 74 auto accidents (that's what was sent to us). That's a little under 19 per year. 32 or 43% of the 74 accidents were low speed rear end collisions. These were mostly due to inattention or icy roads at stops. 5 accidents or 6.7% were due to alcohol. These were the most serous multicar accidents. Two or three of the accidents were caused by inattention where the drivers right tires went onto the right shoulder and then the driver swerved into oncoming traffic.
This makes 54% of the accidents caused by inattention, icy roads, or alcohol. We didn't read one report that attributed an accident to a hill, or a blind spot, or a curve in the road! Kind of gets you thinking doesn't it....could traffic accident statistics be used to justify expanding a road when they actually point to the opposite conclusion? Hmmmm