Stoughton's Central/Washington St. Intersection a Magnet for Accidents and Congestion
Sunday's hit-and-run crash is the latest accident at Stoughton's Central St. and Washington St. intersection, which has been named one of the most hazardous intersections in the state.
A hit-and-run accident Sunday, July 8 at 8 p.m. at the intersection of Central and Washington Streets in Stoughton sent three to the hospital, including one who was transported to Boston via MedFlight with serious injuries.
The crash once again brings attention to one of the most dangerous and congested intersections in town.
A truck traveling north on Washington St. Sunday evening went through a red light and hit the driver's side of a sedan traveling on Central St., which was making its way through the intersection at the time, the Brockton Enterprise reports.
The Old Colony Planning Council [OCPC] has been studying the Route 138 corridor in Stoughton, from Brock St. to the Canton town line, with the main goal of the study to "reduce congestion [and] improve safety for all modes of travel."
This includes the signalized Central and Washington St. intersection, which has been ranked 12th on the OCPC's Top 100 Most Hazardous Intersection List and 13th on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Top 200 Most Hazardous Intersection List.
And with good reason - from 2007-2009 there have been 87 crashes reported at this intersection, which have resulted in 21 injuries, according to OCPC data.
This far surpasses the number of accidents or injuries reported at any of the other major signalized or non-signalized intersections along this Route 138 corridor study.
There have been 31 crashes and 5 injuries reported at the Washington Street (Route 138) at Park Street (Route 27)/Pleasant Street (Route 139) intersection in downtown Stoughton during this same period. The Washington St. and York St. intersection, which is ranked 79th on the OCPC's most hazardous intersection list, has seen 28 crashes and 14 injuries from 2007-2009.
DPW Superintendent John Batchelder said the amount of traffic and the configuration of the intersection at Central St. and Washington St. contributes to the high number of crashes and congestion.
According to OCPC data, 20,820 vehicles per day travel on that stretch of Washington St. and 25,787 vehicles travel on that stretch of Central St.
Batchelder also noted that when there is an accident on Route 24, traffic will often "dump onto Central St.," further increasing the number of cars on this road.
The OCPC sites "long delays and backups; extremely high crashes and crash rate; and dangerous crossing for pedestrians" as issues with this intersection.
Batchelder said the intersection needs to have proper stacking and turning lanes and a different set up for the traffic signal, with improvements to the light rotation and arrows.
Another issue is that the last time the traffic flow through the intersection was addressed, Batchelder said it didn't take into account how it would impact the flow of traffic for other intersections on Central St., like Central at Pearl St. and Central at Pleasant St., so there are constant backups in both directions of Central St. as a result.
The Town of Stoughton itself cannot do much in regards to a solution for the traffic and safety issues at Central and Washington St. since Route 138 north of Lincoln St. is under the jurisdiction of the MassDOT, and not the town.
Even so, improvements to the intersection likely don't prevent Sunday evening's accident, where a vehicle ran a red light.
"There's not a whole lot you're going to be able to do about that," Batchelder said.