OUR VIEW: Don’t be the blockhead at intersections

Published 12:30 pm Saturday, June 10, 2023

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As traffic inevitably increases due to growth and development in LaGrange, parts of the city can sometimes feel more like downtown Atlanta than the Greatest Little City in Georgia. Vernon Street traffic is frequently overcrowded during commuter hours. It’s likely only going to get worse due to the upcoming Publix shopping center and even more so from the planned apartment complex.

But there’s one area of LaGrange that can be even worse than that. The short segment of Morgan Street on Hwy 27 between Lafayette Parkway and Greenville Street can be a nightmare 

at the wrong time of day.

Any local motorist who has driven in that area has undoubtedly seen someone block traffic by pulling into the intersection at Greenville Street. Then, they are stuck because the light has changed ahead at the Lafayette Parkway intersection.

Most of us have done it.  Sometimes, it seems unavoidable. The parkway stoplight ahead is green and traffic is flowing smoothly. Then everything suddenly stops when the light turns red and you’re left in no man’s land in the middle of the intersection with nowhere to go.

It’s not bad luck. It might be bad road design, but it’s what we’ve got. It is mostly avoidable if we just pay a little more attention.

It’s even worse being the driver stuck in the middle with cars honking at you because you carelessly —and illegally— blocked traffic. Yes, blocking an intersection like this is illegal in Georgia even if it’s an accident.

But fortunately, both scenarios can be avoided simply enough by not entering the intersection if there’s not room for your vehicle on the other side. 

In any area where there are two stoplights in quick succession, like Greenville Street and Lafayette Parkway, look ahead to the next stoplight to avoid being caught in the intersection and allow traffic to continue to flow, which is what everyone wants during rush hour.

All we ask for is a little patience and common sense to help keep traffic moving smoothly across LaGrange. We’re all in this together.