One of the worst intersections in the city for collisions will be getting some long overdue work to make it safer for drivers and cyclists alike, a city councillor announced yesterday.

The intersection at Riverside Drive and Heron Road is littered with bits of vehicle taillights — one of the telltale signs that the intersection is “the No. 2 red zone in the city,” said Coun. Maria McRae.

In 2009, the intersection saw 35 collisions. The city’s worst intersection is Woodroffe Avenue and Baseline Road.

McRae, who is the transportation committee chair, along with committee vice-chair Coun. Christine Leadman, announced $3 million in improvements to Riverside and Heron. Beginning immediately and for the next 18 months, the city will add more through lanes and put cycling lanes on Heron and Riverside, make turning lanes longer and reconfigure an existing channelized island to a smart channel, improving sight lines.

Along with construction, the city is working with police on enforcement, and has its own public education campaigns targeting drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. This integrated method has resulted in a decrease in the number of collisions in the city, McRae said. The number of traffic fatalities in the city has also gone down from 30 in 2008 to 26 in 2009.

“We want it to get better,” said McRae. “We want to get that number down to zero.”