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The Worst Intersections in Long Beach

By Joseph Low on April 1, 2019

person walking down busy city street

With over 470,000 residents, Long Beach is the seventh most populated city in California. Three major freeways run through Long Beach, and the city is a hotbed of commerce and entertainment. And of course, like the rest of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, Long Beach has a lot of traffic. If you’re familiar with the city, it should be no secret that the following intersections are some of the most hazardous…

  • 8th Street and Termino Avenue
  • East 7th Street and Redondo Avenue
  • East Stearns Street and Palo Verde Avenue
  • Bay Shore Ave & East 2nd Street
  • 54th Place and East Ocean Boulevard
  • West 27th Street and Daisy Avenue
  • East 4th Street and Redondo Avenue
  • Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) just past 7th Street
  • East Los Coyotes Diagonal and East Stearns Street

After gleaning Long Beach-specific Facebook pages for local resident feedback, the most commonly mentioned worst intersection in the Long Beach area was the Los Alamitos Traffic Circle. More commonly referred to as the Long Beach Traffic Circle, or the Traffic Circle, it is a roundabout where PCH, North Lakewood Boulevard, and East Los Coyotes Diagonal meet.

Roundabouts (traffic circles) are much more common on the East Coast and in Europe, which may be why drivers in the western states have a difficult time navigating them. In fact, there is only one other high-volume traffic circle in Southern California. So why does the city have a traffic circle in the first place? Well, in anticipation of increased traffic congestion during the 1932 Summer Olympics scheduled to be held in Los Angeles, the city brought in a German traffic engineer to design the roundabout and supervise its construction. The traffic circle then remained, essentially, unchanged until it was reconstructed as a modern roundabout in 1993.

Are Roundabouts More Dangerous?

While a lot of Long Beach area residents don’t seem to be fans of traffic circles, studies show that traffic circles are safer than other intersections. According to a National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report, roundabouts, when compared to two‐way stops, all‐way stops, and traffic signals, reduce all accident rates by 35%, injury accident rates by 76%, and fatal accident rates by 90%. As to why roundabouts are safer than intersections, several reasons were posed, including:

  • Slower speeds, by 15 – 20 miles per hour
  • No right-angle accidents
  • Fewer conflict points: A four-way intersection has 32 conflict points, as opposed to just eight in a traffic circle.

If you’re wondering if roundabouts increase traffic congestion, a 2004 Kansas DOT study found that, when compared to traffic signals, roundabouts reduced vehicle delays by 65%, and vehicle stops by 52%. Regardless of what traffic conditions are at any given moment though, vehicle accidents are always a possibility, so it’s important to always keep your eyes on the road, give yourself plenty of travel time to get from one location to another, and never break traffic rules in order to shave a few minutes off your commute. Remember, it’s always better to arrive a little late than to have to deal with the fallout of a traffic accident.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car crash in the Long Beach area, contact The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV. We can help you determine liability and get you the compensation you need to fully recover. For a free consultation, don’t hesitate to call us today at (888) 454-5569.

Posted in: Car Accident

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