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Problem Intersection: Oakdale Road And McLendon Avenue

Motorists seeking to avoid Moreland Avenue's morning rush hour traffic, use Oakdale as a cut-through, turning it into a speeder's corridor.

If you like the sound of growling engines and the sight of speeding cars, you needn't travel to Germany's famed Autobahn or even the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Just come to Candler Park during rush hour and watch the intersection of Oakdale Road and McLendon Avenue.

You can watch from the parking lot of the Gilded Angel Candler Park Gallery on the northeast corner.

We have.

So have area homeowners and business owners who've witnessed a troublesome number of accidents at that intersection, including one serious one last week. The incidents range from pedestrians and bicyclists getting hit by cars, to cars overturning, to trucks driving through business storefronts.

Over a three-year period, a similarly sized Atlanta intersection should have 5 or six accidents, traffic engineers say.

McLendon and Oakdale — just a few blocks away from the Mary Lin Elementary campus that many children walk to — has had four times as many accidents.

It's understandable why Oakdale, a north-south road, is so popular with pass-through motorists: They're looking to avoid the morning and evening rush hour crawl that turns Moreland Avenue into a swarm of slow-moving vehicles.

Oakdale connects to several major thoroughfares including DeKalb, North and Ponce de Leon avenues, as well as North Decatur Road, allowing commuters to bypass Moreland.

It explains why the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization is looking at finding a solution to make not only that intersection safer, but also the entire stretch of Oakdale that runs through Candler Park less attractive to speeders.

The CPNO on Monday formalized a committee whose members have already met several times to tackle the issue. The ultimate goal is to formalize a plan to present to city traffic officials the neighborhood hopes will reduce the speeding.

They could hire a traffic-engineering consultant to help them develop such a plan.

At least one traffic-calming measure — speed bumps — is not in the mix because Oakdale is an emergency-vehicle designated road, committee member Joshua Harrelson told East Atlanta Patch.

Péralte Paul (Editor) June 20, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I've watched traffic zoom by at this intersection. It's no joke; they speed like bats out of hell. What's the solution?
Howard Fore June 20, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Another huge issue at that intersection is that Oakdale simply isn't wide enough for two lanes of traffic and two cars parked on each side of the street. One solution would be to emulate Whitefoord between Lafrance and Williams. Changing that street to parking on only one side was a great improvement.
Sam June 20, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I take that route quite frequently just to avoid Moreland and speeding has never been an issue as far as I've seen, but I don't go through there in the morning. People are too busy trying weave between the cars that are parked on BOTH sides of the road and oncoming traffic. It's especially bad at the intersection noted above. I can't tell you how many times I've sat through multiple lights because the southbound lane is full of cars and anyone going northbound can't get through because of the parked cars. The giant 4x4 pick up truck is usually the culprit.
ParkingGuy June 20, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Sorry guys, it's a neighborhood street and all cars, where you see them, are legally parked. The truck provides traffic calming to one of the more dangerous intersections in the city. Cars don't crash through flower shops or flip over (both within the last 9 months) due to log-jams. If you don't like this particular commute, may I suggest you take Moreland as an alternate?
Urban Dweller June 20, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I drive that route as well and also walk in that area. I have only seen the accidents in the actual intersection and not on the side streets where the parking takes place. There is a more serious traffic calming issue at this location. I think the parked cars might actually help to slow traffic down. Without the cars I hate to imagine how fast cars would be traveling into that intersection. Also, I frequently see people in wheelchairs riding in the middle of the street on Oakdale due to the horrible conditions on the sidewalks.

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