There’s a smart way to design an insanely big intersection, and then there’s this
It’s not fun to think about, but every time you cross an intersection, you’re taking your life into your hands. Especially at an intersection where traffic engineers decided that two roads with nine lanes apiece should cross. That sounds insane, but in Rockville, Md., just outside of D.C., someone created an intersection just like that. It’s terrifying. Streetsblog is nominating it for the title of “America’s worst intersection.” Is it any surprise that two people were badly hurt trying to get across it?
Now, as Atlantic Cities reported last week, there are some decent, if geometrically complex ways, to design a monster intersection. It might look something like this:
And then there’s the way the Rockville intersection was designed:
That red line represents the route that a Greater Greater Washington writer took to get across the intersection. It took him more than eight minutes. Here’s our chart of how real people will get across this intersection:
That’ll show those traffic engineers! Oh, wait …
Get Grist in your inbox