The most dangerous Queen Creek intersections

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office records show how many vehicle accidents there were at select Queen Creek intersections; meanwhile local officials look to create preventive measures. (Arianna Grainey, Independent Newsmedia)

The intersection of Rittenhouse and Ocotillo roads had the most vehicle accidents last year — 72 — in a comparison of Queen Creek roadways, according to records from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

The intersections looked at, ranked from the most vehicle collisions in 2018 to the fewest, were:

  • East Rittenhouse Road and East Ocotillo Road: 72.
  • Ellsworth and Queen Creek Road: 43.
  • South Ellsworth Loop Road and East Rittenhouse Road: 40.
  • East Empire Boulevard and South Ellsworth Road: 34.
  • East Chandler Heights Road and South Ellsworth Road: 31.
  • South Ellsworth Road and East Rittenhouse Road: 28.
  • West Combs Road and North Gary Road: 25.
  • South Signal Butte Road and East Ocotillo Road: 16.
  • South Ellsworth Road and East San Tan Boulevard: 15.
  • East Cloud Road and East Rittenhouse Road: 15.
  • South Ellsworth Loop Road and East Maya Road: 17.
  • South Ellsworth Road and East Cloud Road: eight.
Troy White

“Queen Creek is committed to improving our roadways and evaluating opportunities to increase safety. As traffic volume increases, so does the potential for crashes. Our traffic engineering staff will continue to evaluate traffic patterns,” Public Works Director Troy White said.

“Please keep in mind that vehicle crashes that occur near an intersection may be reported at the intersection,” he said.

Queen Creek has been making improvements to increase safety on its roadways, Mr. White said.

“One of the major improvements was installing intelligent transportation systems at eight high-volume intersections last year. The technology detects someone running a red light and delays the green light for cross traffic,” he said.

Nearly all of the intersections referenced in the MCSO records were either improved last year, are currently under construction or will begin construction this year, Constance Halonen-Wilson, public information officer for the Town of Queen Creek, said.

The improvements are outlined below:

  • Rittenhouse and Ocotillo: in June the dip for southbound Rittenhouse was leveled, improving safety and traffic flow.
  • Ellsworth and Queen Creek Road: currently under construction, one of the major elements of the project is increased safety by softening the curve and adding super-elevation to the curve. A super-elevation assists drivers by counteracting the lateral acceleration produced by a curve in the roadway.
  • Ellsworth Loop and Rittenhouse Road: new striping and flashing yellow advance warnings signs were added.
  • Empire Boulevard and Ellsworth Road: the intersection was widened and new striping and signage was added.
  • Chandler Heights Road and Ellsworth Road: Chandler Heights was widened at the intersection with new striping.
  • Ellsworth Road and Rittenhouse Road: additional signage was added.
  • Combs Road and Gary Road: as part of the Riggs Road extension currently under construction, a new intersection was constructed that opened in June.
  • Signal Butte Road and Ocotillo Road: Ocotillo Road improvements are currently in design, which include widening the roadway. Construction is anticipated to begin this year.
  • Ellsworth Road and San Tan Blvd: plans to work with MCDOT to refresh the pavement markings and install a new stop sign on San Tan Boulevard.
  • Cloud Road and Rittenhouse Road: Rittenhouse Road improvements are currently in design, which include widening the roadway. Construction is anticipated to begin this year.
  • Ellsworth Loop Road and Maya Road: added protected left turns.
  • Ellsworth Road and Cloud Road: traffic signal timing is being evaluated to allow for gaps in traffic.

Records sought

The Queen Creek Independent through a public-records request asked MCSO to provide a list of the top five most dangerous intersections in the Town of Queen Creek.

Pamela Siegel, legal liaison with the MCSO Compliance Division, said in an e-mail that MCSO was unable to process it and asked for a clarification.

The Independent then asked for “What five intersections in Queen Creek have the most accidents, fatalities or with injuries. Please have them ranked,” but MCSO officials stated such records were not available and that searches could be made of specific intersections.

“The provided request is unable to be processed by the Legal Liaison Section due to the limited information given. Please note that MCSO does not rank intersections by ‘most dangerous’ nor by how many accidents have occurred; however, we are able to provide a list of vehicular accidents that may better assist with your request. Please provide a list of specific intersections (e.g.; E. Chandler Heights Road./S Sossaman Road) with a specific timeframe (i.e. past 12 months) with which you would like us to search and we will be able to provide all accidents within those locations,” the legal liaison office stated in an e-mail.

The Independent revised its request, asking for the number of accidents — and, if possible, how many with injuries and/or fatalities — there were for the year of 2018 at specific intersections.

The provided record contained calls for service for all accident-type and red-light-violation-type codes.

Figures were extracted from a data system for the date range of Jan. 1-Dec. 29, 2018 and main accident-call types were 961, 962 and 963 where a report was taken. The report was compiled using data from the MCSO Computer Aided Dispatch system.

Editor Richard Dyer can be contacted via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or at twitter.com/rhdyer or facebook.com/RichardDyerJournalist

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