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?

T.A. August 07, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Cross at 14th or 12th like everyone else does.
foxmccleod August 07, 2012 at 08:34 PM
The one at North and Myrtle is awful. The road is six lanes and the crosswalk sits just below the top of the hill, so drivers flying east on North never see it and pedestrians can't see cars coming through the light. Even when a driver stops in the lane closest to opposing traffic, the next two lanes don't see pedestrians and don't stop. I don't even risk it there. APD needs to seriously step up enforcement of crosswalks (both marked and unmarked), and perhaps most of the unsignalized intersections should get a pedestrian activated light that stops traffic for 10 seconds.
Steve Gower August 08, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Ponce & Boulevard is quite treacherous - there's an added danger to getting away from some dangerous types that appear there regularly...
dm August 08, 2012 at 01:43 PM
1) 6th and Juniper. People park illegally on the east side of the street on Juniper just before the crosswalk block the view of oncoming traffic which is traveling at over 60 mph most of the time. Public works and Midtown Blue refuse to create clearer signage and paint the curb yellow to prevent parking there. Despite the light, it is still dangerous primarily due to traffic turning left on red. 2) Construction at 10th and Juniper on the hotel has closed the sidewalk on Juniper. Notification of this closure occurs midway in the block forcing people walking on the west side of Juniper to make a choice. Either they backtrack and go all the way back to 8th to cross safely or J-walk. Most choose to J-walk. When are we going to stop allowing construction to take over our sidewalks AND our streets. Other cities manage to keep sidewalks and streets open during construction. What's stopping us from having the same?
dm August 08, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Telling pedestrians to avoid a safety hazard is great TA. Will you be standing there all the time to let people know your suggestion or will you be paying someone to do that. Why don't we just outlaw all crossing except at the intersections that you decide are appropriate for use? In case you haven't noticed, some people have problems walking and taking circuitous routes can be quite the burden for them. Would you really tell someone in a scooter or walking with a cane to head along up the block?
KM August 08, 2012 at 01:56 PM
The intersection of Ponce and Juniper (next to the IM Pei office building) is a treacherous intersection to experience as a pedestrian. Drivers heading west on Ponce and taking a lefthand turn onto Juniper are so focused on making the green light (or, just as worse, chatting away on their cell phones) that they whip through the intersection with no regard to the walk signal for pedestrians. Nearly every day I walk home with a new story to my husband about "how I almost died today" while crossing Juniper at Ponce. I've almost called Commuter Dude from Channel 11 to help resolve this intersection - maybe I'll finally try it before it's too late for me or other pedestrians!
Jason Schmidt August 08, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I would say this is a problem that is rampant all over Midtown. Cars NEVER stop for pedestrians, whether it be 10th St, Piedmont, or the "Midtown Mile". I have never seen anything like it. My favorite is how every third car is poking along, drifting, and, as you might guess, texting on their phone while 'driving'. This city has no respect for pedestrians.
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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