This is Jupiter’s most dangerous intersection

Derek Mannino isn’t surprised to hear that the most collisions in Jupiter happen right outside his pizza shop window at the intersection of Central Boulevard and Indiantown Road.

“The traffic is busy in the morning out there. It goes all day and night,” said Mannino, who has been manager of Vinny’s Pizza for about a dozen years.

There were 75 collisions — about one every five days — at the town’s busiest intersection, about a half-mile east of Interstate 95. Each day, about about 78,300 vehicles pass through, according to county traffic records.

Two busy shopping centers, one anchored by Publix and the other by Winn-Dixie, are on northwest and southeast corners. A Citgo gas station/convenience store is on southwest corner. The Jupiter West Community Center and MyClinic health center are on the northeast corner.

The 450 collisions in 2014 along Indiantown Road were the most by far of any road in the town. Alternate A1A came in second with 155. Military Trail, with 127, was third, according to an investigation by The Palm Beach Post.

Indiantown Road was the location for eight out of the top 10 spots in Jupiter for collisions in 2014. The five intersections on Indiantown Road that had the highest number of accidents are between Alternate A1A and I-95. There were 19 collisions at the entrance/exit to Florida’s Turnpike on Indiantown Road.

The number of traffic collisions, along with traffic volume and road capacity, is one of many factors transportation officials consider in determining road construction. Traffic volume, development in the area and collisions vary from year to year, said Moe Al-Turk, the county’s traffic operations manager.

“There is no magic number,” Al-Turk said.

Residents have their own ideas why the collisions are happening on Jupiter’s roadways.

Mike Bauer said the traffic light at the intersection to his Clocktower development might be a part of the reason. The intersection at Indiantown Road and Military Trail, had 22 collisions in 2014. Students from the nearby 825-student Jupiter Elementary School and workers from El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center, on bicycles and walking, often cross the intersection.

The traffic light for eastbound drivers on Indiantown Road turning left turns quickly from yellow to red into the entrance for Clocktower. The light only allows two or three vehicles to pass, said Bauer, who is general manager of Roger Dean Stadium.

“If you are the fourth car waiting to turn left, you don’t want to sit there and wait for another light. Some people go fast to get through,” Bauer said.

Poor design could be the reason for the 20 accidents at Indiantown Road and Fisherman’s Way, the entrance to Waters Edge Estates, said Kevin Gallant, a resident of the 20-home community. Many motorists use Fisherman’s Way, just west of the Intracoastal Waterway, to get to his development, Fresh Market and the La Quinta Inn.

Westbound motorists on Indiantown turning right into Fisherman’s Way must make a quick decision after they top the Intracoastal Waterway bridge. Eastbound drivers on Indiantown Road turning left into Fisherman’s Way often stop or slow down when they meet oncoming traffic from Waters Edge or the nearby businesses, Gallant said.

“I’m surprised there are not more accidents,” he said.

Not everybody is unhappy about the town’s traffic.

Dean Lavalee, the owner of eight Park Avenue BBQ & Grille restaurants, is spending $350,000 to renovate a former Applebee’s in Jupiter West Plaza, on the northwest corner of Central Boulevard and Indiantown Road. He plans to open his ninth restaurant there in about three months.

“That spot has great visibility. This could be the best location we ever had,” Lavalee said.

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