Albany’s 15 Most Dangerous Intersections, 1955

15 Danger Spots in Albany 1955

Last time around (yeah, it’s been a while – Hoxsie vacations where there is no wifi) we talked about the proposed innovation of the boulevard stop. Not surprisingly, years later, traffic was still a concern in Albany, and in 1955 the commissioner of public safety, William V. Cooke, “sounded a warning to motorists to exercise extreme caution in driving at 15 of the city’s most dangerous intersections.” He said the largest number of accidents occurred between midnight and 5 a.m., but that 9 a.m. was devoid of accidents. Looking at the accident record for the previous five years, he declared that the most dangerous intersections in Albany were:

  • Robin street and Central avenue
  • Howard and Eagle streets
  • Chapel and Columbia streets
  • Washington avenue and Dove street
  • Western avenue and Englewood place
  • Delaware avenue and Providence place
  • Quail street and Madison avenue
  • Lake and Western avenues
  • Tremont street and Central avenue
  • Northern boulevard and Van Woert street
  • Madison avenue and Trinity place
  • Broadway and Emmett street
  • South Pearl Street and Second avenue
  • Madison avenue and South Allen street
  • Central avenue and Lark street.

Cooke said, “It is interesting to note that the city’s most heavily traveled intersections, State and Pearl Streets, Broadway and State street, and Clinton avenue and North Pearl street, have the least number of accidents.” He said that was the result of caution being exercised in coming to well-known busy intersections, and less caution at more routine intersections.

Was the controversy over the “boulevard stop” over with in 1955? It was not, and Cooke declared his opposition to this system, whereby cars approaching main arteries from smaller side streets would come to a complete stop before turning into the main road (with stop signs, instead of signal lights). Cooke said that “Many newer cities are built to utilize this system, but not Albany. There are no major streets where through travel is continuous. The main arteries, such as Western and Central avenues, are better controlled through the use of traffic lights.” He said they had observed how the system was deployed in the village of Scotia, and fouind that drivers had a hard time entering the main thoroughfare, and that drivers on the through-street, “realizing they have more or less the right of way, use the street as a speedway, with the result that it is difficult for the motorist to enter from a side street.”

For a comparison to modern times, it seems the best data we can get comes from the personal injury law firm of Martin, Harding and Mazzotti, which listed the most dangerous intersections in the Capital District for 2015 and 2016. Though they covered a much larger territory, there were still a number of intersections within the city of Albany that made the top 50 of the list:

  • #5: Western Avenue and Manning Boulevard (21 crashes, 12 injuries)
  • #7: Livingston Avenue and Henry Johnson Boulevard (25 crashes, 10 injuries)
  • #10: Henry Johnson Boulevard and 1st Street (17 crashes, 12 injuries)
  • #11: Central Avenue and Everett Road Extension (23 crashes, 9 injuries)
  • #17: Lark Street and Washington Avenue (18 crashes, 9 injuries)
  • #18: Madison Avenue and Washington Park Road (16 crashes, 9 injuries)
  • #22: Henry Johnson Boulevard and Clinton Avenue (17 crashes, 7 injuries)
  • #26: Central Avenue and Henry Johnson Boulevard (21 crashes, 5 injuries)
  • #32: 2nd Avenue and 19th Street (16 crashes, 6 injuries)
  • #38: Quail Street and Central Avenue (23 crashes, 3 injuries)
  • #42: Western Avenue and Russell Road (10 crashes, 7 injuries)
  • #44: Loudon Road and Watervliet Shaker Road (13 crashes, 6 injuries)
  • #45: Central Avenue and Colvin Avenue (22 crashes, 3 injuries)
  • #48: Quail Street and Elk Street (6 crashes, 8 injuries)

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