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Reversible Lanes: Time for a New Approach?

Patch Reader captures horrific, three-car crash on Memorial Drive.

Reversible lanes.

Anyone who travels DeKalb Avenue or Memorial Drive regularly knows that you have to pay particularly close attention because of the reversible lanes and the drivers who aren't as mindful.

East Atlanta Patch reader Will Edmond tweeted this picture of the three-car wreck at Memorial Drive and 2nd Avenue in East Lake, which occurred shortly after 1 p.m. Oct. 18.

"Suicide lanes on Memorial Drive" is what Edmond told us.

(The initial report wasn't immediately available but an Atlanta Police Department spokesman said the initial callers to 911 said none of the involved were injured.)

We've heard from many readers about the reversible lanes and how much of a nightmare they can be.

But as heavily trafficked as Memorial and DeKalb are, aren't these lanes necessary to keep the congestion in check?

What's the alternative solution?

E Keathley October 19, 2012 at 12:07 PM
I live right where a tricky lane merge/lane expansion happens on Dekalb Avenue. Accidents like the one above seem to occur at intersections and merges happen on the reversible lanes. I think the reversible lanes are a good idea on Dekalb, but the way the road is marked should be rethought. The current painted lane markings can be confusing or non-existant. There is no signage or not enough signage along Dekalb to alert unexperienced drivers to merging lanes. Further, intersections aren't always well marked, and the speed limit is treated as a suggestion more than a rule. Better signage and lane markings would be a great start and likely cut down on some of the accidents, but the overall design of Memorial and Dekalb needs to be rethought as it has become densely populated in the last decade.
Andrew October 19, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Totally agree with E Keathley. Given congestion, you need these reversible lanes, but they need to be marked in a more obvious manner. An additional point to the great ones above, that will help clear up confusion, is that the green / red lights need to also be more pronounced / frequent. It's sometimes hard to see these during the day. This is an easy short term fix that will be relatively inexpensive. Longer term, we can think about longer term, multi-million dollar projects.
Lauren October 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
The traffic lights at intersections do not correspond with the lights that signify which direction the middle lane is currently going in. For example, the intersection of Memorial and Glenwood Connector will have 2 green lights for either direction, even when the middle lane has a red X right after the intersection. So, drivers are always taking the middle lane because they see the green intersection light, not aware that that lane is currently for traffic going the other way.
Tammy October 19, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Those lanes have been around for a long time; however, smart phones have not. People need to put down their phones and work on driving. Do reversible lanes take a little bit more thinking? Yes...but people did it in the 1980's and we can now too.
Space Ship October 19, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Reversible is spelled with an "I", for all aspiring journalists out there.
Péralte Paul (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Thanks, SS.
Alison Sanders July 13, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Poor city planning at its worst! Unfortunately, accidents are going to continue until someone can sort this mess out. Imagine the resulting horrors had this crash involved a busload of school children! And more than likely, that bus wouldn't have had seat belts. I don't even want to imagine. Until problems with road infrastructure can be solved, how about we start providing our children with better safety options? SafeHarnes is a portable seat belt that attaches securely to the seats of charter buses, with patents for school buses in the works! The makers of this life-saving product need as much help as they can get to promote it and get it onto school buses everywhere! Please do your part by sharing the link below with friends and family who have children or use public transportation regularly. Or, follow the link to make a donation to the SafeHarness fundraiser and become a life saver! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/safeharness-personal-portable-seatbelts-for-coach-buses?c=home

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