Channel 11’s Gordon Loesch investigated the locations of the most dangerous roads in our area, and what’s being done to make them safer.
In July 2012, 46-year-old James Price Junior was killed along Penn Avenue in Point Breeze.
“It’s hard, it’s hard to still talk about,” said James’ sister Rochelle Jackson.
The hit and run diver was caught and punished, but that’s done little to ease the pain for James’ family.
“All he got was 5 years for killing my son,” said Glenice Price, James’ mother.
The family says Penn Avenue is dangerous, and that drivers speed and are reckless.
Records from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation show the concerns are valid.
The agency tracks the location of every single accident and injury in the state, and creates a formula taking distance into account, so they can find so called “problem roads” and make them safer.
The section of Penn Avenue where James died is ranked 13th most dangerous in the entire state. There were 342 crashes, 244 injuries and four fatalities between 2007-2011.
Todd Kravits, a PennDOT District 11 Engineer, says that by tracking the crashes, they can make improvements.
“That helps us to get federal funds for those higher crash locations where we may have to construct new lanes or maybe replace the entire traffic signal system”, said Kravits.
They’ve already seen improvements on William Penn Highway in Monroeville, where there were 187 accidents and two deaths from 2007-2011, making it the 50th most dangerous in the state.
The worst in Western Pennsylvania is Carson Street on the South Side. It’s ranked 6th in the state for the number of accidents with 374 crashes, 281 injuries, and three fatalities between South 33rd Street and Station Square.
“Over 50 percent of the crashes are taking place between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.," said Kravits.
Krevits said he thinks the problem in that area is heavy congestion and the behavior of drivers.
PennDOT has already been making improvements along Route 8 where James died, including adjustments to the traffic signal timing.
“What's the fix for Penn Avenue? I don't know. Slow down”, said Rochelle.