AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Pretty please, drivers, don't be jerks

Stuck at an intersection near Perimeter Mall, and you may wonder why traffic officers yawn as motorists block the intersection when the light is red.

If the sight of an officer in an intersection doesn't deter the errant drivers, will signs make a difference?

The AJC's Mark Niesse reports today that cities and businesses around the mall are launching a campaign to urge motorists not to inch into crowded intersections they won't clear before the light turns.

Alpharetta is a step ahead. It told officers last fall to ticket the offending motorists. Other cities also have ordered officers to crack down and increased fines. That's because studies have shown that motorists who "block the box" at intersections are a major cause of gridlock on arterial streets. Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York City and Austin also have targeted .

Washington, D.C. is trying a new approach. It reportedly is the first in the U.S. to use cameras to catch motorists stuck blocking an intersection when the light is red. Gridlock cameras catch the offenders, who may think they got away with it until the postman catches up to them.

What steps would you favor to help clear intersections?





Reader Comments ...

About the Author

Lois Norder is Senior Editor for Investigations in the newsroom at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.