ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Cleaning up after Abilene’s deadliest year on roads, Abilene’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has highlighted the city’s crash hot spots in its Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP).

Abilene MPO 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

According to the document: The Metropolitan Transportation Plan is the Abilene MPO’s long-range plan that has a 25-year minimum planning horizon and is updated every five years. This long-range plan focuses on multi-modal transportation needs within Abilene’s metro area, and serves as the basis for the planning needs and decision-making guidelines for the MPO Board. This is accomplished through identifying present and future transportation corridors, forecasting transportation needs and growth patterns, providing estimated costs for implementation of those needs, and including other innovative approaches to transportation. The MTP is a financially constrained document, but it also includes a list of additional projects that could be implemented as funding becomes available.

Visit the full plan here

Last year in 2022, 28 people were killed in 23 wrecks within city limits. That includes seven motorcycle crashes and four pedestrian-involved wrecks.

Based on fatal and incapacitating crashes from 2014 to 2018, as according to Abilene’s 2045 MTP (page 9), these are the intersections with the highest density of crashes:

  • Buffalo Gap Road at US 83/84 — 525 crashes
  • Southwest Drive at US 83/84 — 248 crashes
  • US 277 at US 83/84 — 309 crashes
  • Ridgemont Drive at US 83/84 — 183 crashes
  • SH 351 at IH 20 — 177 crashes
  • Sayles Boulevard at 1st St — 192 crashes

Between 2015 and 2020, Abilene’s 2045 MTP said the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported, “88 fatalities on roadways within the Abilene MPO area.”

Take a look at this figure from TxDOT via the MTP:

TxDOT: Fatal and Incapacitating Crashes 2014-2018

“2014 had the highest number of fatal crashes with 23,” the figure concluded.

Also between 2014 and 2018, there were reportedly 346 incapacitating injuries as results of Abilene-area crashes. The MTP added, “2014 and 2017 had the highest number of incapacitating injury crashes with 75 each.”

Just ahead of crash hotspots in Abilene, the MTP has literature on crash rates (page 8), “Taylor County has a higher crash rate than the state overall, which should be concerning.”

TxDOT: Regional Crash Rate Comparison

These crashes not only impact the driving community, but the city overall on an economic basis. Between 2015 and 2017, the MTP said crashes costed Taylor and Jones counties a hefty approximate price tag of $550 million.

This 2018 graphic from the Federal Highway Administration should provide some clarity:

FHWA, Crash Costs for Highway Safety Analysis, 2018: Crash Costs for Jones and Taylor Counties

At another crash hotspot just outside of town, two drivers collided Monday afternoon at a Y-intersection US 83/84 leaving Tuscola.

Authorities at the scene of the crash told KTAB/KRBC the driver of a pickup truck failed to stop at the sign and hit an SUV. The two vehicles came to a stop in the median. Two people suffered nonlife-threatening injuries, and traffic was backed up for a while.