Worst Intersections in Casper – Our Unofficial Bottom 5
These choices aren't the product of traffic studies or conversations with experts, but rather, these choices are opinions, which range through a criteria of scary, to confusing, to annoying, in how bad the Casper intersection is. In other words, this isn't news. If it was journalism, all I got is shared opinion from anonymous sources, so we're going to lighten up.
Therefore, I can start with the least of the bad, annoying. If you're heading east on Fifteenth Street, when you encounter the traffic light at Beverly, and if it makes you stop, and if you're driving a stick shift, there is enough of an incline that you will roll backwards slightly as your right foot goes from the brake pedal to the accelerator, and your left foot is busy working the clutch pedal. Obviously, this isn't the only intersection in town at the top of a hill, but this seems to be the one place this happens. If I had consulted an expert, I would've asked him or her if they intentionally flatten the tops of most hills for an intersection.
The next step up, or down, to worse, is confusing intersections, such as the tangle of intersections at CY Avenue and Walnut, and Thirteenth streets, and Thirteenth should almost be counted as two streets because it's a one-way south of CY, but is two directions of traffic north of CY. Yet, it's not really north or south either, as Thirteenth and CY cross at oblique angles. There's another thing I could research: Is the turn from CY to the Thirteenth Street that turns into the one-way an acute or an obtuse angle? Oblique already means it isn't a right angle, so I don't need to figure that out if I have it be "oblique."
Another confusing intersection in Casper is Center and Collins and Fifth streets. If I had used some sort of methodology, the consistency of an intersection with more than two streets might have emerged, but two of something also doesn't make a pattern, so never mind. Let's fall back on the unnamed source, who says this is the longest light in town. I think it's a longer wait only for some particular directions of travel. If you're heading west from Fifth Street, you could be there for a while. If you're going east on Collins and you want to make a left turn onto Center, again, it'll make you wait. If you're on Center, it doesn't seem to take so long.
In the range of how I measured badness, we get to scary. Again, no crash data were disturbed to support the scariness. The scariness for the intersection of Casper Mountain Road and Wyoming Boulevard is from both an anonymous source and of an anecdotal (common sense) nature. And, since danger might be implied, the disclaimer is that any intersection, anywhere, can be dangerous, because driving and riding in a vehicle are calculated risks. So, when vehicles are cruising along Wyoming Boulevard and they come to an isolated traffic light at the top of hill, in relatively open terrain, a driver can minimize some of that risk by always wearing his or her seat belt, and always looking both directions before entering an intersection, even if the light is green.
The worst intersection, also in the category of scary, doesn't look that bad. It becomes a lot scarier with a little imagination. Center and F Street, you've got a highway off ramp that's one-way, two lanes on East F Street, which meets up with West F Street, two lanes, and two directions of travel. So, you've got a lane headed headlong into oncoming traffic. It isn't that much of a leap of imagination to think that a driver might fail to notice that he or she is in a turn only lane, cross Center, and suddenly be driving westbound in a eastbound lane. It could happen, and with the embankment of I-25 over Center, there's only one direction drivers can turn to avoid a collision, and it's the same side of the street.
And, for the purpose of comparison, I'll note two intersections I appreciate, not for any better reason than they are picturesque. Yes, they are also easy to navigate: Center and First, and CY Avenue as it crosses Wyoming Boulevard. Downtown Casper heading south along Center Street, in my opinion, is so beautifully aligned with the mountain that it gives the city a very western look. As for the intersection of Wyoming Boulevard and CY, drivers can wait for the light to change and also enjoy some monumental art.