Concerned Midtown Atlanta residents add crosswalk flags at busy intersection

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 4:55 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - At the corner of Monroe Drive and Greenwood Avenue in Midtown Atlanta, a new system is in place that’s very hands-on. Bright orange safety crosswalk flags have been added for pedestrians to use as they cross the street.

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

While the flag system is relatively easy to use, it’s just the latest attempted solution to a complicated safety problem. Georgia has just ranked the 9th deadliest state for walking in a new study by “Smart Growth America”.

Beth Osborn, who is in charge of transportation and thriving communities at Smart Growth America, says a part of the problem is that roads and streets are designed poorly, prioritizing cars and not pedestrians.

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

Osborn says with more people working from home, there were actually more pedestrian deaths in the 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 stop at lights very frequently,” said Osborn.

At the busy intersection, some who live in the neighborhood see this as just a band-aid solution.

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

The Midtown Neighbors’ Association says they’re rallying city council members to address the problem by adding an upgraded signal at the intersection in hopes of making it safer for drivers, pedestrians, and bikers.