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I-Team: More dangerous bike intersections revealed

November 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
If you drive or bike around the Bay Area, you should know there are some places where the odds of getting into an accident go way up.

The I-Team has been looking at intersections around the Bay and ABC7 has the numbers: We found hot spots where cars and bikes are tangling again and again -- sometimes, with fatal results.

There were 11,000 bike accidents across the Bay Area in the last four years. Video from the San Francisco Bike Coalition shows how scary things can get.

One guy in the video nearly got hit, but he was lucky: He rode away from the accident. Two cyclists in Santa Clara County, however, did not.

Across the Bay Area, people are cutting it close.

"It's like playing Frogger," said one cyclist. "It's like you gotta wait and doge to get across it."

We looked at thousands of records from the California Highway Patrol. While San Francisco tops the list with nine of the top 10 worst intersections for accidents, five others around the Bay aren't far behind.

The worst intersections in the Bay Area are:

-- 5. Oakland: Telegraph Avenue and 42nd Street
-- 4. Santa Rosa: Mendocino and Pacific Avenue
-- 3. Concord: Monument Boulevard and Detroit Avenue
-- 2. Berkeley: College Avenue and Russell Boulevard
-- 1. Fairfax: Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Baywood Canyon Road

"It has the perfect recipe to be a dangerous intersection," said Andy Peri with the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. "Coming out on the weekend mornings, you can see people by the hundreds and, sometimes, thousands, riding out here on a weekend. Many of them are fearless."

Bryan Harrell owns Fairfax Cyclery down the road from the intersection in Fairfax. Harrell says he knows people get seriously hurt there.

"On any given Saturday or Sunday, on a nice day, the fire department and the paramedics go past our store three, or four, or five times," Harrell said.

Throughout the Bay Area, we saw plenty of bikers taking chances. At College and Russell in Berkeley, the rule of the road appeared to be "ignore the stop sign" en masse.

This kind of thing has the Metropolitan Transportation Commission struggling with solutions. With no money to do major engineering overhauls, the MTA is pushing public awareness campaigns as a cheap fix for now.

"There are other things that we can do -- all of us can do -- that don't cost anything," said John Goodwin with the MTA. "It's really a conscious-raising and awareness that we share the road with bicycles."

Groups like the Marin Bike Coalition say things could be safer if more drivers took a wider view.

"I think that it's important for car drivers to get on a bike and see what it's like out there," said Peri. "It can be really scary."

The I-Team has plotted out the most-dangerous intersections for bikes in your neighborhood. Click here to see the list.


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