Concerned Midtown Atlanta residents add crosswalk flags to a busy intersection

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – At the corner of Monroe Drive and Greenwood Avenue in Midtown Atlanta, a new system is in place that is very convenient. Bright orange crosswalk flags have been added for pedestrians to use when crossing the street.

According to the Transportation Research Board, crosswalk flags are up to 80% effective in stopping cars at crosswalks.

Although the flag system is relatively easy to use, it is only the latest attempt at solving a complicated security problem. Georgia just ranked the 9th deadliest state for walking in a new study by Smart Growth America.

Beth Osborn, manager of transportation and thriving communities at Smart Growth America, says part of the problem is that roads and streets are poorly designed, giving priority to cars over pedestrians.

“On American roads, moving cars fast is the top priority, it’s priority one, two, and three, and everything comes after that,” Osborn said.

Osborn says that with more people working from home, there have actually been more pedestrian fatalities in recent years because with fewer cars on the road, drivers were speeding more often.

“It’s wide, the lanes are wide, it’s straight – you don’t have to stop at lights very frequently,” Osborn said.

At the busy intersection, some locals see this as just a band-aid solution.

“Very, very dangerous, especially when I’m crossing with my children, my dog ​​and my family,” said a mother who lives nearby. “These orange flags are helpful, but they’re not enough, we really need the flashing lights to bring traffic to a complete stop.”

The Midtown Neighbors’ Association says it is rallying city council members to address the issue by adding an improved signal to the intersection in hopes of making it safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

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