Stop (Except When Turning Right)

This will probably not be interesting to anyone who lives outside of the East Atlanta area, but here goes: What happened to the Stop (Except When Turning Right) sign at the corner of McPherson and Flat Shoals? I have always thought the intersection said a lot about the absurdity of Atlanta government; It cracks me up that they are trying to solve a traffic snarl, but they put a ridiculous band-aid on the problem, rather than installing a “Keep Moving” sign, or even just removing the Stop sign altogether. Explanation after the jump. . . .

Here is a fairly busy intersection, which purports to be a four-way stop, but which is an anomaly, because in reality, it is a three-way stop, with a fourth Stop sign that you only stop at if you aren’t turning right. If you are turning right, you don’t stop and you just keep on around the corner onto Flat Shoals. The problem with this intersection is that the people with the “real” Stop signs at the other three corners only see the backside of the 4th stop sign, and the silhouette looks like any old Stop sign. There is no way for the other three drivers to know that the person at the fourth Stop sign doesn’t have to stop if they are turning right; So, three drivers are treating it as a four-way stop, and the fourth is treating it as a four-way stop only if they are not turning right.

Confused yet? So are most people who come across the intersection the first time, which is why it has always been a good litmus test for identifying East Atlanta residents versus the EAV tourists; If you turn left off of Moreland onto McPherson, then roll through the Stop sign onto Flat Shoals, you are a resident. If you make the same turn onto McPherson, come to a complete stop at the Stop sign at Flat Shoals, pause in confusion, then proceed to turn right, you are doubtless a visitor to our fair urban village.

Is this change temporary? Or is this a permanent fix to an admittedly messed up intersection? And if it is a permanent change, what is this going to do to the Moreland/McPherson intersection? It seems like the cars waiting at the new “real” Stop sign are going to back up into the Moreland/McPherson intersection at peak times of day.

7 Comments so far

  1. Paulie [eatl/ga] (unregistered) on February 6th, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

    A few weeks ago someone knocked down my beloved stop — unless turning right sign. A temporary stop sign, one whose base was a wheel rim from a car, was erected and subsequently knocked down a few days later. It looks like some one has taken that sign and affixed it to the light post.

    I don’t know if this is the new permanent fixture. I sure hope not because very few cars will be able to turn left from Moreland if everyone comes to a complete stop (well, at least as close as Atlanta drivers come to one of those) at that intersection.

  2. Annie (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 8:50 am

    Paulie, those were my thoughts exactly. It seems like it is going to wreak havoc on the Moreland left turn traffic. . . it is kind of funny, though. I had gotten so used to it that at first, I was confused when it was gone.

  3. codymc (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

    Sounds like the perfect place for a roundabout (aka traffic circle)

  4. Annie (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

    That would be interesting. Drivers in East Atlanta have trouble with 4-way stops. I think they neglected to read that part of the Driver’s Ed. booklet. There is some kind of weird, haphazard wave-the-next-guy-on courtesy thing going on at the stops around here. Total disregard for the whoever-gets-there-first rule. A roundabout would blow their minds.

  5. codymc (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

    there are a couple around — one near Emory and one over in Morningside — there were some proposed in Edgewood — we’ll see how that pans out

  6. Annie (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

    Yeah, the one near Emory makes sense. I don’t think this would actually be a good spot for one – Not that I am a traffic expert, but it is hemmed in by the new library and two gas stations, along with being too close to the major intersection at Moreland.

  7. eastatl res (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

    Don’t forget that the sign going north on flat shoals (near the library) says “STOP for pedestrians”

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