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Dear Decaturish – City needs to improve safety at North Decatur and Superior

Crime and public safety D'ish Decatur Metro ATL slideshow

Dear Decaturish – City needs to improve safety at North Decatur and Superior


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Police say both the driver of the car and the cement truck survived this crash on North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue in 2015. Photo courtesy of Mike Hall.

This post has been updated. 

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Editor’s note: This letter was originally a post on Facebook and is being republished here with the permission of the author. Decaturish also obtained statistics about this intersection from the Decatur Police Department, which are included at the end of this letter. 


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Dear Decaturish,

This letter is specifically addressed to the city of Decatur leadership.

We just experienced another accident at North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue. You don’t have to be an expert prognosticator to know that (another) tragedy is coming to this intersection. A brief look at the history of serious and deadly accidents at this intersection and the incessant disregard for the light and the speed limit should convince the most casual observer that a meaningful change needs to happen (not more paint or signs), but the city of Decatur remains unconvinced.

City of Decatur leaders, when the tragedy happens, and it will, you will not be able to say that you did not know, or that the risk was acceptable, or that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent it. I think it will be reasonable then to blame you.

Apparently, a round-about is out of the question (though Emory found a way to secure one on the same road) but there is another affordable solution.

I’ve suggested this before, and I’ll suggest it again. Place two additional traffic lights on North Decatur Road: one near Willivee and one near Clairmont Circle and counter-sync both to the intersection in question.Doubtless, someone will say, “No, it can’t be done, because money–because traffic studies–because regulations–because traffic patterns–because committees need to.” Not true.

When a matter is serious enough, leaders find a way to expedite, go around, fix. It only requires the sufficient will. We can’t stop drivers from being stupid, but while stupid can’t be fixed, it can be corralled. Enough with inaction or unproductive meetings. Let’s corral this stupidity once and for all.

– David Slagle

Editor’s note: This original Facebook post also included an image of scenes of accidents at the intersection, but it includes photos we do not own the rights to. You can see it by clicking here. Decaturish asked Decatur Police Lt. Jennifer Ross about the amount of accidents at this intersection since 2012.

Here is what she told us: 

We have worked 44 traffic accidents at the intersection of North Decatur Road and North Superior Avenue/Superior Avenue from January 1, 2012 to present. I was able to scan through those 44 and there were injuries reported in six and no fatalities. Reported injuries can mean anything from a verbal complaint of pain to medical transport. The fatality bicycle accident involving Paul Taylor occurred at North Decatur Road and Willivee Drive so it is not part of that 44.  The pedestrian fatality involving Jianchang Wu occurred outside of the city limits and was investigated by the DeKalb County Police Department so it is not part of that 44. A small section of North Decatur Road is in the city of Decatur with the remaining in DeKalb County.

Correction: Decatur Police contacted Decaturish to say the initial number of accidents provided for this post was incorrect. The total of number of accidents during this time period is 44. 

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