Examining crashes at Cape Cod’s highway interchanges
When entering or exiting Cape Cod's highway system, drivers encounter a variety of traffic controls: a roundabout when exiting or entering the highway along Route 149 in Marstons Mills, a cloverleaf along Route 134 in Dennis, traffic lights at Route 130 in Sandwich and Willow Street in Yarmouth. Several others, like Route 124 in Harwich or busy Station Avenue in Yarmouth, don't have traffic signals.
Historically, the state and the Commission examine the region's top 50 crash locations every couple of years, considering the number, severity, and type of crashes to identify areas for improvement. Crashes at highway interchanges are typically challenging to categorize. Due to how the data is collected, crashes on or under overpasses or along the on- and off-ramps can be improperly categorized. Over time, the most underserved type of intersection has been interchanges, as analysts look at the interchange as a whole system rather than individual roadways.
Under the Unified Planning Work Program, Commission staff have begun a year-long process to analyze five years of crash data from more than 13 interchanges. Staff is studying crash history to determine each crash's exact location, examining the type and severity of crashes, and reviewing existing conditions, such as traffic controls and pedestrian accommodations.
A final report will include findings and recommendations for safety improvements across the region.