January 19, 2020

The annual collision reports compiled by Waterloo Regional Police Service show that the intersections with the greatest number of incidents have been the two roundabouts where Homer Watson Boulevard meets Block Line Road and Ottawa Street.

From 2012 to 2014, the intersection at Ottawa Street and Homer Watson Boulevard had the most incidents, which has since been dethroned by the nearby roundabout at Homer Watson Boulevard and Block line Road. Both intersections have transitioned from intersections with traffic signals to roundabouts in recent years.

Following are the top 10 intersections by traffic incidents involving cars from 2016:

Roundabout at the intersection of Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road, with traffic crossing guards and roundabout signs.
Photo by Jeff Halcrow | Spoke News
  1. Homer Watson Boulevard at Block Line Road (Kitchener)
  2. Ottawa Street at Homer Watson Boulevard (Kitchener)
  3. Homer Watson Boulevard at Manitou Drive/Doon Village Road (Kitchener)
  4. Victoria Street between Bruce Street at Edna Street (Kitchener)
  5. Franklin Boulevard between Clyde Road and Savage Drive (Cambridge)
  6. Fairway Road at Wilson Avenue  (Kitchener)
  7. Franklin Boulevard at Can-Amera Parkway (Cambridge)
  8. Hespeler Road at Bishop Street (Cambridge)
  9. Franklin Boulevard at Elgin Street/Saginaw Parkway (Cambridge)
  10. Eagle Street North between Hespeler Road and Industrial Road (Cambridge)

Notably, Waterloo doesn’t make the list until No. 13 — Weber Street at University Avenue — and then not again until 38 — King Street at Northfield Drive.

Intersection of University Avenue and Weber Street In Waterloo. Note the presence of the updated Conestoga College Waterloo campus. Not seen: a large commercial plaza to the left of the photo.
Photo by Jeff Halcrow | Spoke News
Roundabouts

One key factor at the Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road intersection is the nearby St. Mary’s High School, generating a large number of pedestrians crossing the intersection. There are crossing guards that assist pedestrians in crossing the roundabout, which can cause difficulties for cars that must temporarily stop while traversing the roundabout.

According to an overview by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, roundabouts are generally a safer alternative to traffic signals for both drivers and pedestrians. While the number of incidents at these roundabouts is high, they are typically not as serious as the collisions that occur at standard intersections, where right angle, left turn and head-on collisions are more likely to occur and cause serious damage or injuries.

On Campus

In recent weeks, there has been a growing number of vehicle collisions at some of the exits from Conestoga College, such as the exits from blue parking lots onto Conestoga College Boulevard and Doon Valley Drive. Since Conestoga is largely a commuter campus, with growing admissions there has been an increase in students purchasing parking passes, which has led to more traffic during rush hours. At the exit onto Conestoga College Boulevard, there are often long lines of cars trying to turn left to head toward Homer Watson Boulevard, which can be difficult with the number of cars both leaving campus and in the oncoming lane.

Line of cars exiting Conestoga College campus from blue parking lots onto Conestoga College Boulevard in Kitchener. Drivers exiting the campus here must cross traffic coming from the busy Homer Watson Boulevard and Highway 401.
Photo by Jeff Halcrow | Spoke News
Pedestrians and Cyclists

Top 10 intersections by pedestrian collision ranking from 2016:

  1. King Street at University Avenue (Waterloo)

    Intersection of University Avenue and King Street in Waterloo, adjacent to Wilfrid Laurier University. Note the large pedestrian presence and cars trying to turn across the crosswalk.
    Photo by Jeff Halcrow | Spoke News
  2. King Street at Bishop Street (Cambridge)
  3. River Road at Holborn Drive/Stanley Park Mall entrance (Kitchener)
  4. Westmount Road at Victoria Street (Kitchener)
  5. Erb Street at Erbsville Road/Ira Needles Boulevard (Waterloo)
  6. Ainslie Street at Main Street (Cambridge)
  7. King Street between Andrew Street and Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute entrance (Kitchner)
  8. Kingsway Drive at Wilson Avenue (Kitchener)
  9. King Street at Queen Street (Kitchener)
  10. Block Line Road at Strasburg Road (Kitchener)

Top 10 intersections by cyclist collision ranking from 2016:

  1. Cedar Street at King Street (Kitchener)
  2. Hespeler Road at Munch Avenue/Isherwood Avenue (Cambridge)
  3. Courtland Avenue at Siebert Avenue (Kitchener)
  4. Hespeler Road at Avenue Road/Jaffray Street (Cambridge)
  5. Hespeler Road at Bishop Street (Cambridge)
  6. University Avenue between Regina Street and Weber Street (Waterloo)
  7. Highland Road at Fischer-Hallman Road (Kitchener)
  8. Ottawa Street at Homer Watson Boulevard (Kitchener)
  9. Water Street at Main Street (Cambridge)
  10. King Street at Stirling Avenue (Kitchener)

It’s not surprising that Waterloo topped the pedestrian incidents list with the amount of foot traffic that crosses the intersection adjacent to Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU). Of the top five intersections by incidents involving cars striking other cars, four out of five are within a few blocks of WLU. The top five intersections by traffic collisions in Waterloo are as follows, including their rank on the full list:

  • (13) Weber Street at University Avenue
  • (38) King Street and Northfield Drive
  • (39) King Street and Columbia Street
  • (40) University Avenue between Regina Street and Weber Street
  • (42) King Street and University Avenue

For an excerpt from the full report that lists the lists the top 100 intersections by number of traffic incidents, follow this link to the Waterloo Region Police report.

Previous years’ reports can be found at this link, including a summary and rankings of intersections with incidents involving pedestrian and cyclist collisions.

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