Gridlock Guy: Top five crash-prone intersections may surprise you

Gridlock updatesMark Arum’s column appears Mondays. Listen to his traffic reports daily on News 95.5 and AM750 WSB, and see him each morning on Channel 2 Action News. Connect with Mark on Twitter: @markarum.

Top 5 crash-prone intersections

1. Memorial Drive and North Hairston Road, Stone Mountain: 22 accidents.

2. East Park Place and Stone Mountain Highway, Stone Mountain: 20 accidents

3. Covington Highway and Panola Road, Lithonia: 19 accidents

4. Cobb Place Boulevard and Earnest Barrett Parkway, Kennesaw: 18 accidents

5. Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Norcross: 17 accidents

Last Monday my colleague from WSB-TV, Dave Huddleston released his findings on where the most dangerous intersections in metro Atlanta are.

Compiling traffic data from 15 police departments in five different metro counties, Huddleston was able to compile an extensive list of which intersections had the most crashes. The data was collected in July of this year and the number of crashes and the worst intersections may surprise you.

Before Huddleston aired his report he came on my radio show to talk about his findings. He asked me to guess what the five worst intersections were. Even though I have 18-plus years covering traffic in Atlanta, I was only able to guess three of the top five, and I didn’t guess the top one.

According to Huddleston's data, the worst intersection in terms of crashes is Memorial Drive and North Hairston Road in DeKalb County. In July, there were a staggering 22 accidents at that intersection. The second worst intersection is one that I guessed: East Park Place Boulevard and Stone Mountain Highway in Gwinnett County. I despise that intersection and wasn't surprised to find that there were 20 crashes there in one month.

DeKalb County also had the third worst intersection in the metro area, Covington Highway at Panola Road. That was my guess for number one. There were 19 incidents at that busy intersection in July. Cobb County comes in at number four with the busy intersection of Cobb Place Boulevard and Earnest Barrett Parkway with 18 crashes.

Jimmy Carter Boulevard at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Gwinnett County round out the top five with 17 accidents.

I was shocked to learn that there were no intersections in the city of Atlanta that made the top five. According to Huddleston's data, the worst interesection in the city is Monroe Drive at Piedmont Avenue (12 crashes, tied for 10th place). Lenox Road at Peachtree Road and Buford Highway at Lenox Road both had eight crashes in the month and tied for 31st on the metro-wide list.

Fulton County had two bad intersections in the top 15: Butner Road at Camp Creek Parkway (7th place) and Flat Shoals Road at Old National Highway (12th place.)

Residents of Clayton County should be happy to know that there are only two intersections in their county that make the list: Tara Boulevard at Upper Riverdale Road (tied for 17th with 11 crashes) and Highway 138 at Tara Boulevard (tied for 31st with eight crashes.)

Looking deeper into the numbers, I was surprised that of the 10 worst intersections, only two are located inside of I-285. The aforementioned Monroe Drive at Piedmont Avenue and Briarcliff Road at North Druid Hills in DeKalb County (tied for 7th with 13 crashes.)

On the north side, these intersections didn’t fare well: State Bridge at Medlock Bridge in Johns Creek (sixth worst); Abernathy Road at Roswell Road in Sandy Springs (tied for 10th place); North Point Parkway at Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta (tied for 26th place.)