West Peachtree

Yes, Atlanta has too many streets named Peachtree. And we seem to want to make even more. That’s not the topic of this post.

My point today is that, if we’re going to have 71 streets named Peachtree, then let’s at least have signage that makes it easy to distinguish one from the other!

Here’s the right way to designate West Peachtree Street:


That’s not so hard. Spell out “West” so that you’re clearly crossing a street that is not “Peachtree Street.”

Here’s a less-effective way to do it, but it’s acceptable… and this is what most of the free-standing street signs in Midtown looked like until just recently:


A big “W” in front is still pretty clear. This ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.

And here’s the wrong way to do it:


These, unfortunately, are the city of Atlanta’s brand new signs. And I’m sure they conform to some Federal regulation somewhere, written by a green-eyeshade bureaucrat who never sees the light of day. And they’re just wrong.

Street signs are not meant to be studied. They’re meant to be glanced at, for milliseconds, while operating a multi-ton moving vehicle. Be honest: glance at that sign above. Do you think you’re at the intersection of 8th and Peachtree? Sure you do.

If you’re driving across town and supposed to turn on West Peachtree, you don’t need to be squinting against the sunshine to see that tiny little “w” and then deciding if it’s significant, or if this is one of the other Peachtrees, or if — WHAM! You just got rear-ended!

It’s a little thing, but it’s wrong and I hope the city is willing to scrap the new signs and replace them with more legible ones.