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Confusing Intersection: McPherson And Flat Shoals Avenues

It's a four-way intersection but there's only three stop signs. And at night you can only see two.

This week, we start a new column, Traffic Signals, which will be a periodic look at some of the problem intersections and road hazards motorists face in East Atlanta Patch.

We've heard from many readers and the problems they face as motorists regarding different intersections and the hazards those problems create not just for cars and buses, but for cyclists and pedestrians, too.

We'd like to hear from you about not only the problem intersections for future columns, but potential solutions that could work that we could present to local city leaders and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Today's focus: the stretch of McPherson Avenue between Flat Shoals and Moreland avenues.

Actually, there are two distinct problems at both intersections.

Problem: The McPherson and Flat Shoals intersection is a four-way crossing but there's a confusing three-way stop signage.

There are stop signs on the northwest corner with the Shell filling station, the southwest corner with the Buddy's filling station, and the northeast corner at Happy Donuts.

But the southeast corner — where the public library is — has no sign.

Some folks will stop anyway; others will drive on through.

At one point, that corner had a stop sign, but not long after, it was removed.

The corner where Buddy's is had a stop sign that said motorists making a right turn onto Flat Shoals didn't have to stop except for pedestrians. It's now a regular stop sign but we've seen motorist after motorist make the turn without even a "rolling stop."

Adding to the problem, the stop sign on the corner at the shell station is behind a tree and motorists don't always see it.

At nighttime, it's painfully clear that it's difficult to see, as evidenced by the drivers exiting the gas station who blow right through it.

Possible Solution(s): Add stop sign on the fourth corner next to the library and move the stop sign on the corner behind the Shell so that it's more visible. Add flashing LEDs on the signs so drivers have a visual cue.

Problem: The other problem is the left-hand turn lane onto McPherson for motorists traveling south on Moreland, where the "Welcome to East Atlanta" sign is.

Frankly, we don't understand why it's a problem since the United States — unlike Jamaica, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, among other countries — is a drive-on-the-right nation.

But with too much regularity, we notice people making turns onto McPherson from Moreland's southbound, left-hand turn lane, will drive to the left of the welcome sign and into two lanes of oncoming traffic.

Possible Solution: Change the painted arrow on the ground so that it stretches and points to the right side of the welcome sign.

Have a problem intersection you'd like us to highlight in future Traffic Signals column? Let us know by sending an e-mail to peralte.paul@patch.com.

Mark Cohen May 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Thanks, Peralte--this intersection has bugged me for years! Two others that come to mind: - Boulevard, traveling south, below Memorial. The lanes switch just before I-20, so that if you're in the left lane you're driven towards the eastbound on-ramp to I-20 rather than south on Boulevard as expected. The lines need to be repainted. - Grant St., traveling south at Memorial: There's not quite space for 3 lanes there (2 southbound, 1 northbound), but the line painting leads you to think there is. Cars either straddle the southbound space, turn right from the left space, or try to cram in/go around the cars turning left. They probably need to even out the space so it's one lane in each direction and split the difference rather than have a half lane going south. And this is on private property, but bugs me all the time: - Kroger shopping center on Moreland at Skyhaven: there needs to be a 4-way stop, or at least a 3-way, near the gas station/Burger King intersection. Cars coming from the east from the Kroger buildiing have nothing to stop them from meeting cars traveling north from gas station--I almost get hit here daily. I've spoken with the Kroger management but nothing has been done. At the least, they could place a stop sign at the parking lot exit point to make the long strip by the gas station the default.
Péralte Paul (Editor) May 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Thanks, Mark. We'll look at those areas, and feature them in upcoming weeks.
skullcap May 23, 2012 at 04:00 PM
This intersection is poorly designed and violates all kinds of safety and traffic control standards. It's a relic of the conversion of Flat Shoals, which was once the main north-south thoroughfare before Moreland Ave was co-opted during the glory days of the motor age. Every few years, East Atlanta gets teased by the city and GDOT with movement toward reconstructing our "front entrance". Street scaping, traffic calming, rounddabouts, and improved signal timing are the oft made and broken promises we've been consigned to accept.
skullcap May 23, 2012 at 04:03 PM
This intersection is poorly designed and violates all kinds of safety and traffic control standards. It's a relic of the conversion of Flat Shoals, which was once the main north-south thoroughfare before Moreland Ave was co-opted during the glory days of the motor age and I-20 ripped-off the northernmost part of our community (as well as removing historic Legget's Hill from existence). Every few years, East Atlanta gets teased by the city and GDOT with movement toward reconstructing our "front entrance". Street scaping, traffic calming, rounddabouts, and improved signal timing are the oft made and broken promises we've been consigned to accept.

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