To the editor:
I am writing today about a dangerous traffic situation at the corner of Northridge and Roswell roads.
When drivers are driving westbound on Northridge Road and want to turn north on Roswell Road, there is a yield sign that is intended to instruct drivers that they must yield the right-of-way to vehicles not only already traveling northbound on Roswell Road, but also ones making the U-turn from southbound Roswell Road (at the green-arrowed light at the intersection with Northridge Road).
However, a significant percentage of drivers don’t seem to understand how that rule works. They are coming down the hill on Northridge Road and are sometimes going faster than the posted speed limit of 35 m.p.h. for the side street.
They will come through their turn without much significant reduction in speed if they don’t initially see traffic coming north on Roswell Road. But of course the ones making the green-lit U-turn onto Roswell Road north from the southbound direction believe they have the right-of-way.
This is a recipe for some serious accidents (if they haven’t had multiple ones already). It also causes drivers making the U-turn to stop in the middle of traffic on Roswell Road in order to allow those who are supposed to be yielding to continue (not wanting to risk an accident). This will lead others to thinking they have the right-of-way as well and continue on, leaving those sitting at the (rather) short light trying to make the U-turn unable to make it.
I am particularly aware of this situation as I live in the Windridge Apartments right behind the Shell station near the intersection of Roswell and Northridge Roads. As you may know, there was a median installed right in front of where our access street – Sugar Mill Road – meets Roswell Road. We have no choice but to turn south on Roswell Road and get in the U-turn lane to go on Roswell Road north.
I have grown weary of honking my horn and pointing at the yield sign as drivers go barreling through this turn thinking I have to yield to them. Most of them look surprised that I’m making my legal turn and a few have even screamed obscenities thinking I’m violating the law.
In my opinion, there needs to be another yield sign in the turn from Northridge Road onto Roswell Road northbound – maybe even with flashing red lights – in order to signal to these drivers that they have to yield right-of-way to the U-turn drivers. Perhaps another sign further up the hill indicating “Yield Ahead” would help matters.
But our strongest weapon is our fine men and women in uniform aggressively enforcing the law and educating drivers about the facts. A yield sign means yield to all on-coming traffic and failure to do so is a violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-72 (Stop/Yield Sign Violation) and O.C.G.A. § 40-6-73 (Failure to Yield Crossing or Entering Road Failure to Yield Crossing or Entering Road).
In my opinion, it is an important (and dangerous) traffic-related issue that I hope your publication can bring awareness to.