What is SLO’s most dangerous intersection?

September 1, 2017

In recent years, the intersection of Santa Rosa Street and Foothill Boulevard has been the most dangerous location for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians in the city of San Luis Obispo, according to a set of rankings compiled by the Law Office of Daniel J. O’Neill.

The rankings use data from law enforcement to show which San Luis Obispo intersections have had the most accidents from Jan. 1, 2012 through Nov. 13, 2016. During the approximately five-year span, a total of 82 accidents occurred at Santa Rosa Street and Foothill Boulevard.

Los Osos Valley Road and Calle Joqauin came in a close second with 76 accidents. California and Foothill boulevards had 48, Los Osos Valley Road and Froom Ranch Way had 44, and Santa Rosa and Olive streets at 42 rounded out the top five.

For individual years, the title of most dangerous intersection has rotated between different pairings of streets. Los Osos Valley Road and Calle Joqauin was the most dangerous intersection in 2012 and 2013 with 36 and 30 accidents respectively.

The number of crashes at Los Osos Valley Road and Calle Joqauin dropped steeply in 2014 and continued to decline over the past couple years, according to attorney Daniel J. O’Neill’s law firm.

Santa Rosa Street and Foothill Boulevard was the most dangerous intersection in 2014 and 2015 with 19 and 29 accidents respectively. In 2016, Santa Rosa Street and Olive Street came in first with 21 accidents.

California and Foothill ranks as one of the most dangerous intersections in the area in terms of injuries. A total of 53 injuries occurred at the intersection over the five-year span.

In general, bicyclists are most in danger on Foothill Boulevard. The intersections of Foothill Boulevard and Broad Street and Foothill Boulevard and Santa Rosa Street led with six bicycle accidents each.

Just this week, a bicyclist was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver on Foothill Boulevard near Ferrini Road. That crash is not included in the law firm’s data set.

Over the 2012-2016 span, there was a total of four fatalities in San Luis Obispo traffic collisions, according to the law firm. Two pedestrians and two motorists died in four separate accidents. Each of those fatal crashes occurred on northbound Highway 101 on or off-ramps.

Read the entire list of SLO’s top 25 most dangerous intersections.


That would be….Gibson at Hill St.


Increase the density. Build more houses, Narrow the traffic lanes and increase bike lanes for those bicyclist who don’t obey the rules of the road. Bring it on SLO , if you try harder you can make it just like every other place that people are moving away from.

Jorge Estrada

I would have guessed the intersection of Mill St and Osso, based on the number of vehicles divided by the number accidents. I’ve seen many and almost a party to a few because of people who stop at he stop sign and then just go, as if their minds are somewhere else. Maybe they just left the court house and are on their way to the home they no longer own?


And Higuera is the most dangerous for foot traffic. Dunk students dart out into the street from the bars. There is no police interaction even though the alcohol laden fools stumble into traffic like toddlers, even stand in the middle of the street in drunken stupor. The police should enforce jaywalking as it is rampant. There is heavy police presence in the evenings yet they ignore this problem. Not to” harrass” the drunks but to protect them from themselves and unsuspecting drivers. BTW Dan O’Neil is the best lawyer around.


Interesting article. Thank you.


From my observation, the list of dangerous intersections correlates strongly with intersections with high traffic volume. A secondary factor might be the preponderance of college students living and traveling near some at the top of the list. (I am surprised the Highland and Hwy 1 is not on the list for that reason.)

Unfortunately, there is not a lot that can be done to reduce traffic or reroute students so I don’t foresee this changing much. Changing attitudes of all traffic elements (drivers/cyclists/pedestrians) would help but is also unrealistic beyond a minimal amount. That is sad but it is the way it is.


Interesting fact about Foothill and Hwy 1, especially with the close vicinity of the recent death of a bicyclist!

My girlfriend complains about that area almost every time she drives back at night to AG from my house in MB. Between seeing drunk drivers out and about and or college kids jetting or sometimes staggering across Hwy 1 from the student housing complexes in that area, little bit nerve wracking!!!


I’m not saying the above facts are untrue. But in perspective SLO is quite safe in comparison to many metro areas.

Dirk Anderson

All of Madonna and Los Osos Valley Road. I cycle everyday I’m speaking as a pedestrian, my experience it is more dangerous. I take into consideration conditions: sunlight, speed limits etc. However how do you go from foot on brake to foot on accelerator as pedestrian legally crosses, please explain? Near downtown post office another XMAS FORGET IT.

Condolences young Cal Poly cyclist, also hope young lady gets fair adjudication. Some opportunists attempting to exploit this tragedy (often anonymously) don’t add anything to the discussion.