article about daily conflict between drivers and pedestrians in Virginia Highland.
Atlanta is not a pedestrian friendly city. Sidewalks are sparse and multi-lane thoroughfares, even in the city core are numerous. Also, even on the never ending autobahns we call interstates, we text, apply makeup, read and stuff our faces with pounds of fast food flesh.
In a pedestrian dense neighborhood like Virginia Highland, it is down right frightening.
There are also some special factors about Virginia Highland which should be considered.
Between Ponce and Los Angeles, there are no fewer than 10 pedestrian crossings with a significant number placed mid-block. It would be interesting to research the genesis of this high frequency. I imagine it has something to do with it being an "entertainment district".
The result of this overcompensation is drivers start, stop, repeat process for the full 1.5 miles. It can be frustrating for the most patient driver.
But this is a mild annoyance compared to the far more dangerous game of Frogger played by the pedestrians.
I will not go so far to claim the previous point is causation for this one, but despite being blessed with abundance of crossings, Virginia Highland pedestrians have a peculiar laissez faire attitude about where to cross the street.
It doesn't matter the conditions; light, dark, sunshine, raining., hail of frogs, it is inevitable that a drive down Highland will result in a sudden stop due to a pedestrian darting between cars to dash across the street.
Sunday, returning from my farm in south Georgia, I witnessed near tragedy. A car was inching its way out of Yeah Burger, attempting to turn left onto southbound Highland. Of course, the driver was looking to his right to avoid being boned like a T. At the same time, a gentlemen who was drunk/texting/generally oblivious began walking at a diagonal from the Taco Mac towards the other side of the street.
The car saw an all clear and gunned it. I do not exaggerate in saying that a life was spared by two humans suddenly becoming aware of a vast world outside their tiny existence, a quick swerve of the car and hilarious pirouette by the walker.
It is law that cars stop for pedestrians and any suggestion otherwise should be castigated. However, it is also law that pedestrians use the crosswalks and in this particular neighborhood it's almost impossible to avoid them.
But most important of all, if you are a couple hundred pounds of soft flesh, can we expect a smidgen of common sense instead of proudly strutting arrogance when you cross paths with 2000 pounds of twisted steel? As Gwynedd also notes, the law won't matter one smidge if you a smudge on the pavement.