In 2009, thirteen pedestrians were killed by cars here in Atlanta. Astonishingly,
30% — four – of those pedestrians were killed on just two
streets: Boulevard and Cleveland Ave. In 2009, two pedestrians were killed
on each of those two streets.
I am a lawyer who represents family members of people killed in Atlanta
in pedestrian accidents, and in a recent post I talked about Boulevard.
Today I want to talk about the other most dangerous street for pedestrians
in 2009: Cleveland Avenue.
The two deadly pedestrian accidents happened within a mile of one another
on Cleveland Avenue. Cleveland runs east to west. On the western side,
the street is first called Cleveland Avenue at the point where it intersects
with Harris St. To the west of Harris St., the road is called Irene Kidd
Parkway. On its eastern side, the road terminates at the Fulton County
Board of Education building. Cleveland Ave. is approximately three miles long.
The first deadly pedestrian-car collision on Cleveland Ave. happened on
April 24, where Metropolitan Pkwy. intersects with Cleveland Avenue. The
car accident happened at 5:41 p.m. Atlanta police reported that the driver
of the car that struck the pedestrian was driving under the influence
/ DUI, and that drinking alcohol and then driving had played a role in
causing the accident. This particular pedestrian fatality wreck happened
just a block east of the Cleveland Ave. interchange with I-85, near the
Emma Hutchinson Elementary School. The accident happened on a corner that
has a number of Atlanta MARTA bus stops. Several businesses sit at the
intersection, including a Walgreens, a Radio Shack, a CVS Pharmacy, a
Burger King and a Family Dollar store. At this intersection, both Cleveland
and Metropolitan are four lanes wide, and both roads have an additional
turn lane on each side of the intersection.
The second Atlanta pedestrian who was killed on Cleveland Ave in 2009 was
killed on September 10th at 9:40 p.m. in the evening. The accident happened
where Cleveland Ave. crosses Browns Mill Rd. The accident occurred in
Atlanta to the east of I-75, in Rosedale Heights here in Atlanta, less
than a mile from where the first accident had occurred. This accident
happened to the east of Cleveland Elementary School and Cleveland Ave.
Park, and to the west of the Rosel Fann Recreation Center. This intersection
is more residential than the Metropolitan/Cleveland intersection where
the other 2009 pedestrian accident occurred. The eastern-most two corners
are residential. One of the other two corners has a Texaco. The fourth
corner has parking for the Maranatha Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which
sits to the west on Cleveland Ave. This intersection is much smaller than
the one where Cleveland intersects with Metropolitan Pkwy. On the west
side of the intersection with Browns Mill Rd. – the residential
side, Cleveland Ave. has just two lanes, with no turn lane. One its western
side, Cleveland Ave. has two lanes plus a turn lane. For its part, Browns
Mill Rd. has two lanes and a turn lane on both the northern and southern
sides of this Atlanta intersection. Atlanta MARTA buses also run through
Although the two intersections are both in Atlanta, both on the same road,
and are very near one another, they seem quite different. One intersection
is much larger and more heavily trafficked and has numerous businesses;
the Cleveland / Browns Mill junction is quieter, half residential, and
has less traffic and fewer businesses and fewer business that would generate
a significant amount of auto traffic. Both, however, were equally deadly
for pedestrians in 2009.
Both of these cases where a car hit and killed a pedestrian are recorded in the
FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) database that is maintained by the
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).