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Crossing at Peachtree & 13th Dangerous?

Midtown intersection was site of Margaret Mitchell tragedy more than six decades ago and is viewed by some to be very dangerous today

Saturday, Aug. 11 will mark the 63rd anniversary of when famed Atlanta author and journalist Margaret Mitchell was struck by a drunk driver while attempting to cross the street at Peachtree and 13th in Midtown.

Mitchell, 48, died five days later and the off-duty taxi driver convicted of involuntary manslaughter only served four months in jail. All these years later, some area residents see trouble coming at the intersection that has minimal traffic signage supporting an unlit crosswalk that is not consistently obeyed by motorists.

A “Blood Bath waiting at the entry to the Midtown Mile” one concerned Midtown resident wrote to Patch:

Having lived here since 2002, I have walked the city streets and seen the danger increase with pedestrian walk ways. The city has improved street crossings, and added lights. (one on 14th in front of the W Hotel in the past few months was a great add for pedestrians)

Despite that, there is a Blood Bath waiting at the entry to the Midtown Mile at the cross walk of 13th and Peachtree.

This marked walk telling pedestrians it is okay to cross (with no lights) is a death trap as speeding vehicles disregard cross walkers. Sunday night I was nearly plowed down at dusk by a driver who had no clue it was a cross walk. Fortunately I had a white shirt on and when I screamed she hit the breaks 2 feet shy of me. This cross walk behind the Campanile Building is a ticking time bomb.

Either put up some lights or talk down the cheesy, 3 foot crosswalk signs which the majority of drivers do not obey. On a given crossing, my friends, colleagues and I shout obscenities at 3 or 4 cars who serpentine near us as we are in the middle of Peachtree crossing.

Do we want the southern entry to the Midtown Mile to have a crossing for business people, residents and tourists to play chicken with cars on Peachtree?? Business, restaurants and people crossing are surely going to increase. The city needs to address this dangerous liason and other crossings.

Is this crossing at Peachtree and 13th dangerous?

Are there other crossings more dangerous in Midtown or on the westside?

How do you rate the book and/or movie, Gone with the Wind?

LJ August 08, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Atlanta driving culture won't change, so move to safer, walkable communities.
Matt Fasick August 08, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Atlantans should honor the great Margret Mitchell by using common sense and courtesy. Especially at pedestrian walkways. Oh, anticipating stupidity is also a good way to avoid danger.
Sally Flocks August 08, 2012 at 09:13 PM
As President of PEDS, I encourage pedestrians to be more assertive. When crossing at a crosswalk, use an outstretched hand to notify drivers that you intend to cross. Motion gets people's attention. And the outstretched hand means you're not planning to stand by and give up the right of way. If that's not enough, buy a referee's whistle. Right turning drivers rarely look to their passenger side. So if you can't make eye contact, make ear contact. When people hear a whistle, they think a cop is about to pull them over and take their foot off the gas pedal. At 13th Street, an in-street crosswalk sign is not the ideal solution -- but it's better than nothing. The photo uploaded with this article shows the sign on the sidewalk. It belongs in the middle of the road, where it will remind drivers to look for pedestrians. It also slows many drivers down, which makes it more likely people can stop in time. A Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon would be a more appropriate device for crosswalks on Peachtree Street and 10th Street that are not controlled by traffic signals. These treatments cost about $10,000 per intersection. So until the City of Atlanta creates a capital budget, we'll need to rely on Midtown Alliance or others to foot the bill. The first RRFB in Midtown is planned for 10th Street, near the MARTA station.
Steve Gower August 08, 2012 at 10:10 PM
We badly need zebra stripes - those stand out very clearly...
Mike_Midtown August 09, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Thanks for the information. Pedestrians in Atlanta are not assertive. Most pedestrains I see at a crosswalk tend to meander and don't show their intent to cross. I spent many years in Boston and the police are everywhere to enforce pedestrians rights.

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