Two busy intown Atlanta intersections to get traffic control devices, Peachtree to get streetlights

By David Pendered

Two traffic intersections in the bustling neighborhoods of Inman Park and East Atlanta are on the brink of getting enhanced traffic control. The plans are slated for discussion Wednesday at the Atlanta City Council’s Transportation Committee.

The black vehicle is about to get blue-lighted by an Atlanta police cruiser on Tuesday evening, seconds after driving through a cross walk on Irwin Street in front of two pedestrians walking toward Krog Street Market. Credit: David Pendered

The black vehicle is about to get blue-lighted by an Atlanta police cruiser on Tuesday evening, seconds after driving through a cross walk on Irwin Street in front of two pedestrians walking toward Krog Street Market. Credit: David Pendered

In addition to these improvements, the Transportation Committee is slated to hear a proposal from the state to install streetlights along Peachtree Road in Buckhead. Terms call for GDOT to install lights from Shadowlawn Avenue to Roxboro Road and for the city to maintain and operate the lights. The legislation does not mention the architectural style of the lights.

The two intersections represent the type of challenges that accompany the extent of infill development that’s occurred in the past decade in the two neighborhoods.

As residents move into the neighborhoods, the intersections become danger zones where vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists interact. Here’s how the city’s transportation managers plan to improve safety in the two areas.

Inman Park: Krog and Irwin Streets, and Lake Avenue – the intersection near the Krog Street Market and the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. The measure was sponsored by Councilmember Kwanza Hall.

Two pedestrians finish crossing Irwin Street as an Atlanta police cruiser passes behind them, moments before racing ahead to pull over the driver who had entered the crosswalk while the pedestrians were in that supposed safe zone. Credit: David Pendered

Two pedestrians finish crossing Irwin Street as an Atlanta police cruiser passes behind them, moments before racing ahead to pull over the driver who had entered the crosswalk while the pedestrians were in that supposed safe zone. Credit: David Pendered

The pending legislation calls an all-way stop at an intersection that serves a plethora of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

The Inman Park Neighborhood Association requested the all-way stop, according to the legislation. The purpose is to, “improve pedestrian, cyclist and driver safety at this busy intersection,” according to the legislation.

On any given evening, crowds of pedestrians cross Irwin Street on their way to and from the Krog Street Market. At the same time, commuters traverse Irwin Street from their workplaces in and near Downtown Atlanta to homes located west of the intersection.

On any given day, crowds of pedestrians and cyclists traverse the intersection on their way to an from the Eastside Trail, according to the legislation.

According to the legislation:

  • “[T]he installation of an all-way stop controlled intersection at this location will provide a safer crossing for pedestrians, meet the needs of the community and address traffic safety concerns.”
Glenwood, Moreland avenues, cars, Oct. 11, 2016

Plans call for Glenwood Avenue to be realigned to eliminate the dogleg across Moreland Avenue the red vehicle is about to execute in order to follow the black vehicle in proceeding west along Glenwood Avenue. Credit: David Pendered

East Atlanta: Glenwood and Moreland avenues – the intersection where the First Iconium Baptist Church is located. The measure was co-sponsored by councilmembers Carla Smith and Natalyn Archibong.

The pending legislation presents the improvement as an upgrade of the streetlights at the intersection of Moreland and Glenwood avenues. The paper describes a project in which the Georgia Department of Transportation will be installing streetscape enhancements and installation of roadway lights. The city agrees to maintain and operate the lights.

The project is more far-reaching than outlined in the legislation.

The plan is to retool the intersection in order to align Glenwood Avenue and eliminate a dogleg that now exists. This portrayal can be found in papers that support the legislation.

Glenwood, Moreland avenues, bicyclist Oct. 11, 2016

Bicyclists are in particular danger because drivers may be distracted by the multiple lanes of travel through the intersection of Moreland and Glenwood avenues. Credit: David Pendered

This is how the white paper that’s attached to the legislation describes the scope of work:

  • “The proposed project would realign a section of SR [State Route] 260/Glenwood Avenue to the south in order to eliminate the approximately seventy foot offset as it crosses US 23 [Moreland Avenue]and will include a twelve foot shared use lane for bicycle connectivity. Glenwood Avenue would also be restriped to accommodate a 10 foot left turm lane on the eastern (westbound movement) leg of the intersection and would maintain the existing 30 mph design speed.
  • “The approximate length of the realignment is 750 feet. This intersection is located within the City of Atlanta, and DeKalb and Fulton Counties. The lighting system throughout the project will be maintained by the City of Atlanta as per the agreement.”
Krog Street jogger, Oct. 11:2016

Before the jogger crossed Irwin Street near the Krog Street Market, he made a visual connection with the driver to his left, in the white vehicle. He hopes the driver seeking to turn right onto Irwin Street is watching him as well as traffic approaching from the driver’s left. Credit: David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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