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Problem Intersection: Moreland Avenue and Ormewood Avenue

With school back in session, motorists need to be patient and cautious.

If you drive Ormewood Avenue to get to Moreland Avenue with any regularity, you know you have to be prepared for a wait when you get to the traffic light at the intersection — unless you're lucky to catch the green light.

Moreland is a state road and controlled by the Georgia Department of Transportation. As such, the DOT's main objective is to keep traffic flowing on Moreland as freely and fast as possible.

But Ormewood is a city road and takes a back seat to Moreland in terms of traffic flow. That explains why the red light for motorists turning onto Moreland from Ormewood Avenue is so long, compared with Moreland at the Memorial Drive or Freedom Parkway intersections.

It's also led to some testy or impatient drivers.

On several occasions, we've spotted motorists driving east on Ormewood signaling a left-hand turn onto Moreland.

But rather than wait for the westbound traffic that's driving straight through the intersection, they zoom out in front of them.

Some don't wait at all, preferring to illegally drive in the opposite lane of traffic and cut through the parking lot of the former Jiffy Grocery at the corner.

Now, with school back in session, a steady stream of kids headed to the ’s Ormewood Park campus, will walk or ride their bikes to school, using that intersection.

Though Ormewood Avenue is a bike route and ANCS received nearly $500,000 in a federal Safe Routes Initiative grant last year that covers the roadway, drivers don't pay attention.

The ANCS kids are savvy enough to walk their bikes across the street instead of riding. Even still, some discourteous drivers try turn before they have a chance to cross.

And as Atlanta's 11Alive News reported this week, metro Atlanta motorists hit four people a day on average.

Chances are, drivers all over the city might be encountering a lot more kids during their morning commutes to work now that Atlanta Public Schools is enforcing a longstanding rule about who can get a ride on the school bus.

"The policy is elementary school students qualify for pupil transportation if they reside more than one mile from their zoned school," APS spokesman Keith Bromery wrote in an e-mail to East Atlanta Patch.

"For middle and high school students, it is 1.5 miles. APS does not transport charter or private school students between home and school."

The rules were actually in place for a while, but the district is aggressively enforcing it this year, Bromery said.

So for motorists using the Moreland and Ormewood intersection the bottom line is: Slow down for the kids.

Jennifer Thompson August 09, 2012 at 06:21 PM
This light did not used to be this long. I really hate it. I turn right on Moreland and then turn left further down. If there is a car sitting at the light already, I will not go to the intersection but take a smaller road and cut over to Moreland that way. That light has become a real nuisance when it changed a few months ago. It never used to bother me at all. But even worse than driving is trying to cross walking. You can stand there for a long time waiting for the light to change and then hope that some angry driver who has been waiting forever to turn doesn't run over you while you walk (with dogs who don't realize the situation) across the street.
Péralte Paul August 09, 2012 at 08:21 PM
That's true. It's one reason that I drive to the Ormewood Square retail center instead of walk. Some drivers will just as soon hit you than obey the law.
Ormewood Park Mom August 10, 2012 at 02:06 AM
We always wait a few seconds before turning into Moreland. That intersection is a disaster waiting to happen with all of the pedestrian traffic combined with people driving 60 MPH+ plus trucks barreling down Moreland at obnoxious speeds too. My 70+ year old neighbor says the he feel that he's taking his life in his hands whenever he drives the stretch of Morleland between Glenwood and Confederate... If the light would switch more often it might slow people down. I'm surprised more parents haven't gotten involved with all of the kids riding their bikes to the ANCS.
Buzz August 10, 2012 at 05:01 PM
The photo of the intersection above the article is reversed.
Péralte Paul August 10, 2012 at 06:06 PM
No, it's not. The camera is facing west on Ormewood toward Moreland.

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