Traffic study cites Manchester's worst intersections
Traffic often gets snarled in the rotary, and its tangle of local feeder roads and off-and-on ramps to Interstate 293 makes it the city’s most dangerous intersection in number of accidents — some fatal.
“It is probably one of the worst (intersections) in the region because of the way it was designed and the volume of people who go through there,” Preece said.
Officials in Goffstown, Bow and Hooksett also will be informed of recommendations since any traffic changes near Exits 6 and 7 could affect those towns.
Ward 10 Alderman Phil Greazzo said it doesn’t surprise him Second Street at Queen City Avenue and Woodbury Street ranked second in the report.
Greazzo said he has asked state transportation officials to provide better access to the highway.
“They plan to proceed by just replacing the existing bridges and roads … We weren’t too happy with that,” Greazzo said.
Another of the worst-rated intersections is one whose sheer volume of traffic trying to get to and from commercial enterprises can make it a difficult drive.
South Willow Street at Queen City Avenue and Cilley Road is the fifth ranked intersection for accidents, with 63 listed by police.
The second half of the top 10, in order, are Granite, Main and South Main streets, also with 63 crashes; Beech and Bridge streets, 59; Elm Street, Lake Avenue and Granite Street with 57; Elm Street and Queen City Avenue, 52 and another South Willow Street intersection, at Goffs Falls and Huse roads, with 46 accidents.
Making intersections easier to navigate safely is a task with several challenges, some financial and some because an urban landscape leaves little space for redesigning roads without expensive land-taking.
However, engineers working on the study have said a big issue is the way Interstate 293 winds its way through Manchester,
Between the territory consumed by the river and its adjacent wetlands, the terrain available for reconfiguring a major highway is limited.
Alternatives for Interstate 293 include upgrading interchanges while keeping the road as two lanes in each direction, or widening the road to three lane highways north-and-south-bound.
On city streets, the city scrambles to find answers one intersection at a time.
Union Leader reporter Bill Smith contributed to this story
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