Decatur: A Pool of Relative Calm In an Angry Sea of Atlanta Fatalities


We’ve discussed traffic fatalities around Atlanta for a long time here, especially when the peds, cyclists and drivers are all trying to blame each other for their respective problems.  Unfortunately we didn’t have this very informative new map by ITO, which maps every single road fatality in the U.S. from 2001-2009, available to us then.   But we do now!

If you zoom in close enough, not only does it inform you of the gender, age and date of the incident, but it also color-codes the victim by their mode of transit.

There are indeed many takeaways from such a map – and I’m certainly hopeful that you all will point out some other good ones – but looking primarily at the Decatur area first, it’s sort of incredible the almost complete lack of fatalities within the city limits, especially when it comes to pedestrians.  Zoom out a bit more – so that Peachtree Street is on the far left of the map and Stone Mountain is at the right – and the void of icons in and around the Decatur area is truly impressive.  (And this ain’t no tranquil ‘burb area, we’re talking about a fully functional downtown with lots of traffic lights, intersections, crosswalks and whatnot!)

We talk a lot about the health incentives of a more walkable community around these parts, but the general lack of you know…DEATH…from various means of transport is often  understated.  I try not to get all that preachy around here anymore, but it seems to me that any inconvenience that we may have to shoulder due to Decatur’s old and newly “walkable scale” is well worth knowing that you’re a little less likely to be, you know, dead, based solely on your – and others – transportation choices.

8 thoughts on “Decatur: A Pool of Relative Calm In an Angry Sea of Atlanta Fatalities”

  1. Something’s not right, because there was at least one pedestrian fatality in Decatur in the past 5 years – at Commerce and E Ponce, if I recall.

    1. No database is perfect but the FARS website describes a system that seems fairly complete. Maybe some of the reports that comprise a FARS report were missing? Or could the fatality have involved a death that occurred more than 30 days after the accident?

      1. Thanks, Mom. I knew there was something here on DM about it and I was going to look today. No pedestrian fatality, but a driver fatality. Same difference. Still shows the database is incomplete, but the general notion of safety in our area is valid.

      2. Very odd that this fatality did not make it into the FARS database. It’s supposed to be a really complete one. Maybe something delayed the reporting–e.g. waiting for certain data sources, e.g. death certificate, signed autopsy report, whatever–and so the case did not make into the database by the time the 2001-2009 set of data were frozen for the analysis. It might make it in when they release a 2001-2010 dataset.

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