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Pasadena Intersection Still Tops List of Dangerous Crossings

TIMES STAFF WRITER

For the second year in a row, the same Pasadena intersection has been identified as the most perilous in Los Angeles County by the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Walnut Street and Pasadena Avenue, with 15 injury collisions in 1999, topped the list of worst intersections, the Auto Club announced Tuesday. The ranking was based on the number of drivers who caused injury accidents by running red lights and was based on California High Patrol statistics.

In 1998, 18 such crashes occurred at the intersection, which is near the Foothill Freeway and just north of Old Pasadena.

Three of the four worst intersections in the Auto Club ranking are in the San Gabriel Valley, and four of the top 11 are in Pasadena.

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The second most dangerous intersection was Huntington Drive and Sunset Boulevard in Arcadia, with 13 injury collisions, followed by Brand Boulevard and Goode Avenue in Glendale with 12 and Corson and Marengo avenues in Pasadena with 10 accidents.

Auto Club officials say they cannot pinpoint what makes one intersection worse than another, but they said drivers tend to run red lights more frequently at or near freeway exits or entrances.

“Motorists could be taking on a freeway driving mentality before they actually reach the freeway, or keep driving like they’re on the freeway when they are exiting,” said Arline Dillman, the Auto Club’s chief traffic safety official.

Pasadena police say the city has reconfigured the traffic signals at the Walnut-Pasadena crossing to try to reduce the number of collisions.

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“We had 18 collisions in 1998, 15 collisions last year and we’ve had 10 so far this year. We’re going in the right direction,” said Pasadena Police Lt. Rod Uyeda.

Uyeda said drivers heading east on Walnut would confuse two sets of traffic signals about 100 yards apart. One set of lights is at the intersection with Pasadena Avenue. Beyond it is another set at Corson Avenue, he said.

The signals have now been synchronized, Uyeda said.

Los Angeles had only one intersection among the worst 11 in the county for red-light runners. Flower and 11th streets in downtown Los Angeles was the scene of eight crashes in 1999 and ranked fifth, along with six other intersections.

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The six intersections are: Cerritos’ Bloomfield Avenue and Artesia Freeway, Pasadena’s Green Street and Marengo Avenue, Pasadena’s Hill Avenue and Maple Street, Pomona’s Holt and White avenues, Torrance’s Hawthorne Boulevard and 190th Street and West Covina’s Cameron and Sunset avenues.


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