Social/Traffic/Public Works Experiment

Three months ago I caught myself monitoring the daily progress of a right turn only sign next to the Atlanta Humane Society on 10th St near Howell Mill. The sign had seen better days and was now hanging upside down by the bottom bolt like a kid on a set of monkey bars. One wee scrap of cylindrical metal was trying with all it’s might to keep the slab of reflective metal attached to a post.

A week and a half after my amuse-yourself-in-traffic play started, the sign was gone and the game was brought to another level.

As you cross that intersection heading away from town, that lane disappears and on the other side of the intersection cars are parked against a curb in an orderly fashion that should not put them at risk. Without the sign, this wasn’t the case.

Every day I watched the folks who had become used to the sign/who were familiar with the area sit in that lane and then turn right. Those who were new or oblivious waited patiently for the light to turn and scuttled straight forward, only to jut at the last moment into the left lane risking impact to either the front or to the left of their vehicles – and in some cases their bodies and minds because ATL is a road rage-y kinda town at times.

Caring and curious citizen that I am, I Googled for the responsible office and called it in. The woman who took my message seemed confused and put out by my call, but my side of the street was clean (har) and I’d tried.

Fast forward to last week when I got a call back from a pleasant enough woman who left a voicemail repeating the information, but the intersection she cited was incorrect. I called her voicemail back, corrected the information and figured that was the end of it. Again.

Well kids, last night she called again to say she’d been out to see the intersection and confirmed the missing sign. Paperwork has been filed to replace the sign and she asked if there was something else she could do. I suggested they paint the turn only arrow on the road since the sign is nearly invisible anyway and I was shocked with her response of “yes, that’s a good idea. I’ll put in a request for that as well.”

Smack me on the azz and call me Kate, there’s a government office here with folks that not only do their jobs, do it politely, and do it quickly; but who are open to the suggestions of their citizens.

I can take this one of two ways: a) it can inspire hope that these qualities contaminate other offices in the city or b) it can serve as the first sign of the apocalypse.

10 Comments so far

  1. J S (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 9:31 am

    Great post, great idea, I am familiar with the intersection, and I love when people behind do attempt to drive straight and nearly cause collisions and the like.

    You did your good deed.

  2. Seth (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

    I’ve been annoyed by that intersection for approximately the same length of time for the exact same reason. Bless you for your community service!

  3. Maigh (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

    @ Seth – Yurwilcom! Feel free call in the missing stop sign on the next block… ;)

  4. ed (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

    wtf, you have to be making this up…

    There is no way someone from Fulton County was helpful.

    Sorry, but I’m calling you out on this one.

  5. Maigh (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

    HA! I saved her voicemail, Ed, for just such an instance. :)

  6. dovetail (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

    Worthy of an AJC breaking news email, don’t you think?

  7. Roxie (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 10:38 pm


  8. Maigh (unregistered) on October 31st, 2007 @ 8:38 am

    Well done, Roxie, now where’s that smack I asked for?

  9. beaz (unregistered) on October 31st, 2007 @ 9:31 am

    don’t congratulate anyone yet. I noticed that a “one way” sign on my street has fallen down, and I also called it in. I got a very prompt follow-up call and a visit from someone in the public works office (I think) to take a look, who said that it would be repaired soon. But, fast-forward to six months later, the sign has still not been repaired.

  10. Maigh (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

    Duly noted, BEAZ. Will keep you posted as to the status.

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