SPECIAL REPORT: Taking a look at Central Illinois’ most dangerous intersections

Local News

WMBD has covered a long list of crashes, so many that we’ve noticed a lot of them have been in consistent areas of Central Illinois. We delved in the numbers and learned some intersections are much more dangerous than others.

War Memorial Drive in Peoria and Veteran’s Parkway in Bloomington are major arteries in their respective cities pumping traffic in and out of both cities. We’ve learned each intersection sees the highest number of car crashes.

WMBD asked Bloomington police for the numbers and learned Veterans Parkway at Eastland had the most crashes in 2018, with 19 crashes reported.

“You have State Farm corporate headquarters right off Veterans Parkway,” said Bloomington Police Spokesperson John Fermon. The Bloomington officer continues to refer to many other local companies in the same area that add to traffic on Veterans Parkway stating that during weekdays the area is dangerous.

Fermon says the intersection is so busy, it’s even more difficult to patrol. “We try to have a traffic stop off of Veterans Parkway,” adds Fermon. “But if it happens to be that way, we may have a three car accident.”

In Peoria at Knoxville and War Memorial, the number is more than quadruple Bloomington’s most crash-prone intersection. According to Peoria police, 88 crashes were reporter at War Memorial and Knoxville in 2018, in fact the numbers have jumped drastically. According to IDOT the intersection saw only 15 crashes in 2015, the number skyrocketed to more than five times that in 2018.

“I think people get in a hurry trying to get to one destination or the other,” said Larry Ivory. “In some cases people aren’t paying much attention as they should.”

There are a multitude of reasons why War Memorial and Knoxville could be confusing to some drivers. The busy intersection has two stop lights, a plethora of lanes, if you add congested traffic into that and it can be a mess for drivers

An honorable mention, 62 crashes last year just down at War Memorial and university.

Terry Beachler’s automotive business has sat at War Memorial and University for over half a century. Beachler says previously crashes used to happen daily at the intersection. “It was very common here, tires squalling and a crash,” said Beachler. Though it’s not daily now, the entrepreneur says it’s still common. “It still does not take much to mix a federal highway up with the city street,” adds Beachler.

One Beachler’s employees says, what’s more dangerous is traffic around the median just steps away from the intersection, “They [drivers] fly, they don’t drive through here, they fly.”

We reached out to the Illinois Department of Transportation to learn if they’re working to make any changes to these intersections. IDOT declined to comment on camera regarding their plans to make the aforementioned intersections safer. WMBD plans to follow up with IDOT to learn their plan of action.

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