Michele Norrbohm considers Highway 252 a necessary evil. Necessary, because she says she drives it "pretty much every day" Evil, because she's had plenty of accidents on that stretch of road.
"Especially when you’re making a left hand turn, you run into where drivers run the red light a lot," says Norrbohm. "Sometimes you just instinctively know to wait a few seconds when the light turns green just in case people are running those red lights going north or south on 252."
Her sore spot is 252 and 81st Avenue, which is not far from her home in Brooklyn Park.
Beth Walsh’s bad luck comes at the intersection of Highway 252 and 66th Avenue in Brooklyn Center.
"[I] tend to not go there," says Walsh. "There are some back roads going to the Holiday and Super America [gas stations] that I prefer to take if I can help it just because I've almost been hit a couple times over there."
It turns out they’re not the only ones with Highway 252 troubles.
According to MnDOT, those two spots are among the top 10 crash-prone intersections in the state. Each year, MNDOT comes up with a list of the most crash-prone intersections in Minnesota based on three-year crash data. Intersections are ranked based on the number and severity of crashes that happen there.
The intersection where 252 meets Humboldt and 81st Avenues in Brooklyn Park ranks No. 8 on the list. Highway 252 and 66th Avenue in Brooklyn Center came in at No. 3.
"It is the first intersection after a freeway," says MnDOT Traffic Engineer Ryan Coddington. "So as you come off of 94 onto 252, you run right into that signal and you're coming around a curve, so you don't necessarily see the signal as you're coming up to it."
A lot of crashes at that light involve property damage only. From 2008 to 2010, that intersection had one fatal crash, 39 crashes with injuries and 71 cases of property damage.
MnDOT uses the information it compiles to see what needs to change on their end.
"We don’t have money to put in an interchange at this time, but it's definitely something we’re aware of," says Coddington.
MnDOT is working on a project to rebuild the signal for cars going east on 66th Avenue turning right onto southbound 252. Right now, those cars don't get a signal and several crashes happen because there's a bus stop right at that corner.
The city of Brooklyn Center is also looking into ways to make that intersection safer. Depending on what they come up with, Coddington says MnDOT is eager to work with the city on that.
July 30, 2012