Dangerous Intersections in Grand Forks 

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Dominique Menard, News Editor

The North Dakota Department of Transportation has recently come out with a list of the fifty most dangerous intersections within the state. Although this list has just been released, this data represents conditions and crashes from 2018 through 2020. Out of the fifty on the list, six of them were in Grand Forks. Five out of the six intersection also happened to be on 32nd Avenue. The six intersection and their rankings are: 

  1. 32nd Avenue South and 31st Street (66 total crashes)
  2. Corner of Washington and Demers (79 total crashes)
  3. 32nd Avenue South and 34th Street (47 total crashes)
  4. 32nd Avenue South and Columbia Road (47 total crashes)
  5. 32nd Avenue South and 20th Street (36 total crashes)
  6. 32nd Avenue South and Washington Street (49 total crashes)

The ranking of these intersections is based on several factors. The factors include the number of crashes, the severity of the crashes (whether or not cars were totaled, etc.), and whether there were injuries (and their severity level).  

Over the last year, there has been construction done around the Grand Forks areas to improve road conditions for the overall safety of citizens, including students who reside in town during the year. Seven million dollars was put toward realigning left-turn lanes along one of the most dangerous roads in Grand Forks, 32nd Avenue South. Construction on this road is hoped to help traffic time, ease of driving, and decrease the number of crashes. Other roads where construction was seen by UND students was the intersection of University and Columbia; although this was not identified as a dangerous intersection within the state, improvements on this intersection will make commuting for drivers and walkers on campus safer and faster.  

An interview was conducted with a UND student about their experiences driving in the greater Grand Forks area. The student shared one example of how driving on 32nd Avenue South can be a dangerous feat. While driving to the store, they were turning from 32nd Avenue onto 31st St. While turning onto 31st, the alignment of the lanes was unclear and it was dark out, so the student turned directly into on-coming traffic. Their immediate reaction was to swerve, and they ended up off the road to the side. This student was not in an accident or crash, and was safely able to get to their destination, however, the situation caused a great deal of anxiety for the student. The student stated, “after that experience, I am a little more careful while driving in Grand Forks.” Due to privacy reasons, the student wishes to remain anonymous.  

Since this report is with data from 2018 through 2020, and there has been recent construction within the city, future lists may vary drastically. Officials are hoping that the changes that have been made through construction will reduce crashes and incidents that Grand Forks citizens and UND students are facing. Although it may take years to see positive changes in the data, being attentive and aware are the first steps that drivers can take in reducing crashes and incidents. Driving in the winter months can be challenging with the snow, wind, and ice, not to mention dealing with “dangerous” intersections. If these intersections are on your commute to or from campus, carving out extra time and being aware of your surroundings will help ensure getting to your destinations safely.  

 

Dominique Menard is a Dakota Student news editor. She can be reached at [email protected]