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Arlington's most dangerous intersections

February 23, 2011 - 03:01 PM
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Columbia Pike and Washington Boulevard rank No. 2.10 Photos
Columbia Pike and Washington Boulevard rank No. 2. (Photo: Jay Westcott/TBD | Date: Feb. 23, 2011)

Few things are more nerve wracking to a driver than slowly nosing a car out into a road, cars whizzing by, as you try to see around parked cars. Is someone coming? Should you just gun it and hope for the best? Everyone has their own tactics, but at certain problem intersections, it can feel like a game of chicken. 

So where are the worst spots for this kind of traffic nightmare in Arlington? Thanks to some digging on the part of the Arlington County Police Department and a grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation, now we know.

After the jump, the map of Arlington's most dangerous intersections, meaning the ones where the most accidents were reported during the past four years. The short version? Columbia Pike is a death trap. So is Washington Boulevard. The multiple iterations of Glebe Road? They're all pretty bad.

View Arlington's 23 most dangerous intersections in a larger map

Why is this noteworthy? Well part of the Virginia Department of Transportation grant is going toward Arlington PD's enforcement at these intersections. For the entire month of March, officers will be assigned to these spots, and issuing tickets for the kind of infractions that can lead to accidents: speeding, running red lights, failure to yield, improper lane changes.

The police department is hopeful this targeted enforcement will help bring down the accident numbers at these spots — although they acknowledge for the program to have any kind of long term impact, it's going to require some follow-up.

Each officer is going to look at the possible improvements that could be made through traffic engineering to the intersection to help prevent accidents. "Enforcement alone is not going to solve it," says officer Adam Stone, who'll be perched at the George Mason Drive/Lee Highway intersection for the month of March as part of the program. "It gets people aware out there, but two weeks later, they forget all about it. There might be some traffic engineering aspect to it though."

The top 23 most accident-ridden intersections in Arlington:

1. Arlington Boulevard/Rt. 50 and South Washington Boulevard/Rt. 27, 113 accident calls in 2010

2. Columbia Pike and South Washington Boulevard, 60 accidents

3. Columbia Pike and South George Mason Drive, 55 accidents

4. Columbia Pike and South Glebe Road, 55 accidents

5. 23rd Street South and  Jefferson Davis Highway, 52

6. South Walter Reed Drive and South Washington Blvd, 47

7. Lee Highway and North Lynn Street, 45

8. Lee Highway and Spout Run Parkway, 38

9. Lee Highway and Washington Boulevard, 36

10. North Glebe Road and Washington Boulevard, 36

11. 2nd Street South and South Washington Boulevard, 35

12. Fairfax Drive and North Glebe Road, 35

13. South Glebe Road and Jefferson Davis Highway, 34

14. North Glebe Road and North Pershing Drive, 33

15. North Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard, 31

16. 26th Road South and South Glebe Road, 30

17. Army Navy Drive and South Hayes Street, 29

18. North Courthouse Road and Eastbound Arlington Boulevard/Rt. 50, 27

19. 850 Army Navy Drive, 27

20. 24th Road South and South Glebe Road, 26

21. North Glebe Road and Westbound  Interstate-66, 25

22. South Glebe Road and South Walter Reed Drive, 25

23. North George Mason Drive and Lee Highway, 23



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  1. chrisbannon chrisbannon

    Chris Bannon

    Feb 23, 2011 - 08:19:17 PM

    I can't picture where #6 is S. Washington and S. Walter Reed.....

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  2. Nate_K Nate_K

    Nate Kalkowski

    Feb 26, 2011 - 12:53:45 PM

    A little research would have made this article even more interesting, because #1 and #6 are actually two parts of the very same intersection: the off-ramp from 50 onto Washington is the same as the off-ramp from Washington to "Walter Reed" (which is really just a 100-foot stub at that point, leading to S. Courthouse Road). Which means the #1 most dangerous intersection is BY FAR more dangerous than the next closest one.

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  3. Peter Stelman Peter Stelman

    Peter Stelman

    Feb 24, 2011 - 08:08:15 AM

    Yeah, same here... S. Washington and Walter Reed??? Walter Reed becomes Fillmore at Columbia Pike, and then goes up across 50. I zoomed all the way in on the map where that alleged intersection is, figuring maybe some other little street was also called Walter Reed. Nope. It's not even the "real" Washington Blvd... it's like a service road parallel to Washington along the ramp from 50 East to Washington South.

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