The intersection of Homer Watson Boulevard and Ottawa Street South in Kitchener holds the dubious distinction of the having the highest number of vehicle collisions of any of the major intersections in the region.

The intersection ranks the highest in terms of number of collisions according to data gathered by Waterloo Region staff.

Regional Councillor and vice-chair of the planning and works committee Geoff Lorentz told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris Tuesday the region is already working on a solution. 

"The traffic volume is horrendous," he said. "So we are looking at putting in a roundabout there, should be operational 2015 and the next intersection up where there's an off-ramp we're putting another roundabout, as well at Alpine."

The map below shows the top ten intersections and stretches of road ranked by regional staff according to collisions. Ranking is based on the difference between the region's predicted collision occurrences and the actual occurrences between 2008 and 2012. The larger the difference, the higher the rank.


View Collisions in Waterloo Region in a larger map

Overall, the rate of collisions per 1,000 people in region has decreased over the last ten years, from 13.9 to a rate of 10.4 collisions per 1,000 people. The numbers of fatalities, fatal injuries, reported collisions, injuries have all decreased in 2012 from the year before.

However, car collisions with pedestrians increased slightly to 154 in 2012 from 151 in 2011, and with horse-drawn vehicles, from 6 in 2011 to 8 in 2012.

The biggest increase was in the number of collisions between cars and cyclists - to 130 in 2012 up from 104 collisions in 2011.

Lorentz said many of the traffic problems in the region stem from the legacy of the original design of many of the communities in Waterloo Region, which were built on a radial pattern, rather than a grid. 

"Our forefathers never really laid this community out well. So I think everyone is trying to do the best they can with what they have."

Lorentz said many of the region's traffic problems could be solved by redesigning existing roads, to force drivers to consciously slow down.

"You can't keep widening the streets and expect traffic to slow down," he said. "You really need to look at re-engineering the roads, putting a bump out or narrowing the lanes."

"People have to look at a road and then in their subconscious say, 'there's something different about this, I need to slow down,' rather than coming over the hill and saying 'wow, there's a two-mile strip here, let's speed up.'"

The region's rankings do not cover every single road and intersection in the region. Rather, the data is "based upon vehicle collisions occurring on roads under the jurisdiction of the Region of Waterloo or signalized intersections under the jurisdiction of local municipalities and either investigated by Regional Police or reported at the Collision Reporting Centre," according to the regional report.