Among the worst
We constantly hear about bad bridges; bridges that are getting old and are in need of repair. Bridges that could potentially collapse if not replaced or if they don't receive weight restrictions.
Just as there are bridges which are dangerous, there also are some intersections that have the potential to produce serious injuries or death.
There are four or five which stand out. There have been serious crashes at each of them.
They are not listed in any specific ranking for danger. All rate about the same.
Three of them have a common denominator. They have lights with arrows for left-turning traffic. In these cases, the problems are caused mostly by inconsiderate motorists who don't yield to on-coming traffic or motorists who just hurry to beat the light, going through it beyond the point of yellow.
The worst intersections are:
• The intersection at Route 209 and 248 in Franklin Township.
People coming from Canal Road toward Route 248 often have a hard time getting through the light because Route 248 motorists turning left fail to yield them the right of way.
Also, people coming south on Route 209 and turning left onto Route 248 sometimes get impatient.
• The five-point intersection in Tamaqua. Once again this is a situation where people are rude and in a hurry.
One reason is because you have such long back-ups whereby not rushing through the lights can mean waiting awhile for your turn to come again.
• The intersection of Route 209 and Broadway in Jim Thorpe. This intersection is not only dangerous for motorists, but even more hazardous to pedestrians - courthouse employees, local residents, and the throngs of tourists that come to the town.
At all three of these intersections we would love to see more police patrols and more arrests occurring from the arrogant individuals who feel they own the road.
Two other intersections worth mentioning:
• Everybody knows the one at Route 443 and Route 309 near Mantzville is far from perfect. For drivers not familiar, it can be confusing turning left from Route 309 onto Route 443.
More than one serious accident has occurred here. And many more are sure to happen in the future.
• The intersection of Catawissa Street and Route 443 is somewhat dangerous, especially for motorists traveling north on Route 209 to the Route 54 intersection and turning left onto Route 54.
It's surprising that more accidents don't happen here, now that this is a prime detour for motorists due to the bridge project in Tamaqua.
Any location on the highway can be dangerous when motorists don't use common sense or display courtesy. But something should be done, including more police patrols, to make the above mentioned locations, a little easier to navigate.
The target of PennDOT and state lawmakers has been on the bridges. A lot more people get injured and killed at dangerous intersections.
By RON GOWER