In 2009, thirteen pedestrians were killed on Atlanta’s streets. Four
of those thirteen car wrecks happened on just two of Atlanta streets:
Boulevard and Cleveland Ave.
As a pedestrian accident lawyer, I have been looking at how we can use
the data about fatal pedestrian crashes to pinpoint particularly dangerous
areas in Atlanta for pedestrians. I represent the families of Atlanta
pedestrians who have been killed in these wrecks, and the pain for these
families is immense. Could we make Atlanta safer for pedestrians?
When I searched the FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System_ data published by the
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), I was struck by the fact that two roads took a very dominant
position in the statistics. Of the 13 pedestrians who were hit and killed
by cars in 2009, two were killed on Boulevard and two on Cleveland Ave.
When you think about it, the chances that two streets would stand out like
that are very, very small. I was not able to find a figure for the number
of streets there are within the city limits of Atlanta, but it would have
to be in the hundreds, perhaps even the thousands. Despite those large
numbers, 31% of all Atlanta pedestrian who were killed in car accidents
in 2009 died in car accidents that occurred on just two roads.
Today I want to take a look at the two accidents that happened on Boulevard.
Boulevard stretches north to south. Its northernmost point intersects
with Ponce De Leon Ave. / SR-78 / SR – 278 at the southernmost part
of Midtown. To the south of Ponce De Leon Ave., the road is called Boulevard.
To the north of Ponce De Leon Ave., the road changes names, and is called
Monroe Dr. To the south, Boulevard ends at McDonough Blvd. at the United
States federal penitentiary. Boulevard is roughly five miles long.
The two crashes in which a pedestrian was killed happened on opposite ends
On the northern end of Boulevard, a pedestrian walking along Boulevard
was struck and killed by a car at 1:25 a.m. in the morning on March 21,
2009. The Atlanta pedestrian had been walking between Wabash Ave. NE and
Ralph McGill Blvd. The driver had one passenger in his car, and neither
the driver nor the passenger was killed in the auto collision.
A car killed another pedestrian toward the southern-most part of Boulevard
here in Atlanta. The wreck happened at the intersection at Boulevard and
Cassanova, two blocks up from Boulevard’s terminus at McDonough
Blvd. The pedestrian accident happened just before midnight at at 11:54
p.m., on September 6, 2009. The driver of the car had one passenger, and
both the driver and the passenger survived the crash.
The Atlanta police did not cite either driver with driving under the influence
/ DUI, and the FARS database does not cite drinking and driving as playing
a role in causing either accident.
More than 15% of all pedestrians who were killed on Atlanta’s streets
in 2009 died on this one, five-mile stretch of roadway. That number is
truly astonishing when you put it into the context of the vast numbers
of roads and streets we have in Atlanta.