Drivers Beware: Dangerous Intersection at Northside Drive and 10th Street in Atlanta

Would you believe there is about one crash every five days at the northwest Atlanta intersection of 10th Street West and Northside Drive Northwest? Unfortunately, that statistic is a reality, according to a report by NBC affiliate 11Alive’s Jerry “Commuter Dude” Carnes.

Channel 11 says Georgia Department of Transportation records show there were 40 accidents at the intersection in the first half of 2016, many of them left-turn car accidents. The good news is that Georgia and Atlanta officials are aware of the problems in the area and are looking for answers.

What Could Be Done About the Atlanta Intersection?

Carnes filed a report on Sept. 26 that included an interview with a woman who watches the results of intersection car accidents from her apartment balcony. Traffic backs up because people trying to make left turns find it tough to do so, the woman observed. That congestion worsens the problem and makes left-turn car accidents even more likely, she said.

GDOT records show that about half the crashes at the intersection in the past three years did involve people trying to turn left, Carnes said. His report also found:

  • GDOT is in the early stages of a study that could bring improvements to a long stretch of Northside Drive, but any action on findings likely will be several years coming.
  • The Renew Atlanta infrastructure improvement project has targeted this part of 10th Street for upgrades, but there was no word on when changes might be made.
  • GDOT recently put smart traffic signals along Northside, which could ease congestion and help the intersection. Smart traffic signals use sensors and artificial intelligence to manage traffic.
  • People want signals with left-turn arrows at the intersection, particularly on 10th Street. “It seems like a simple fix,” the woman said.
  • GDOT says the intersection would have to be redesigned to add left-turn lanes before signals with left-turn arrows could be installed.

Those who have searched the Internet for “dangerous Atlanta intersections” find no shortage of stories like those related to this one. An old adage comes to mind: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In this case, the fire is a steady stream of collisions drawing attention to dangerous intersections.

The Making of Safe Intersections in Atlanta, GA

GDOT isn’t sitting on its hands when it comes to dangerous Atlanta intersections. In fact, it recently put dual teardrop-shaped roundabouts into action on Riverside Drive in Sandy Springs. These roundabouts are used to exit and enter Interstate 285, which meant putting one on either side of I-285 on Riverside.

The jury is still out on roundabouts in Atlanta, but a TV news story, again the work of Carnes, sounded upbeat about this European-style solution to tricky intersections. GDOT likes them, too, having built more than 300 to date, with 197 in the Atlanta area.

GDOT’s design policy manual sheds light on some of the key factors its intersection gurus consider in their job:

  • Human factors, such as driving habits, what can be expected of drivers, decision and reaction time, conformance to natural paths of movement, and pedestrian and bicycle use.
  • Traffic considerations, such as the expected size and operating characteristics of vehicles, variety of movements (diverging, merging, weaving, and crossing), vehicle speeds, mass transit considerations, crash history, and bicycle and pedestrian movements.
  • Physical elements, such as character and use of abutting property, field of vision, angle(s) of intersection, traffic control devices, lighting, safety features, bicycle traffic, environmental factors, crosswalks, parking, directional signage, and markings.
  • Economic factors, such as cost of improvements, effects of controlling or limiting rights of way on abutting residential or commercial properties, and energy consumption.
  • Affected area, such as intersection boundaries (which are much larger than the physical intersection) and access points.

Accidents Pile Up as Drivers Become Impatient in Atlanta

In his report on the intersection of 10th Street West and Northside Drive Northwest, Carnes cites a risky scenario. He describes a car waiting a long time to turn on Northside from 10th Street, backing up traffic because there is no turn lane, growing impatient, nosing into oncoming traffic, and eventually forcing its way across the intersection – against traffic and to the sound of blaring horns.

That clearly is a risky maneuver born of impatience and inadequate traffic control, a maneuver likely behind many of the crashes at the intersection.

Planning a fix for the intersection and implementing it are works in progress. Meanwhile, accidents pile up.

We Are Committed to Helping Crash Victims

Atlanta news reports from any given day show that impatient and negligent drivers continue to cause serious accidents at intersections across the city. Safety measures curb commuter car accidents, but safety measures don’t keep dangerous drivers off the road.

Since 1993, the Millar Law Firm has been successfully fighting for people suffering from injuries after automobile accidents. If you were in an accident on Northside drive or anywhere else in Atlanta, contact us today to learn how our skilled car crash attorneys can help you get your life back on track.

We offer free initial consultations on car accident claims, and we do not charge attorneys’ fees unless and until we secure compensation for you.