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Decatur Police respond to three-vehicle accident at North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue

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Decatur Police respond to three-vehicle accident at North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue

A reader sent this photo from the scene of a June 13 accident at North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue.
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This story has been updated. 

Decatur Police responded to a three-vehicle accident at North Decatur Road and Superior Avenue on Thursday afternoon, June 13.

“On Thursday, June 13, 2019 at approximately 12:47 p.m., Decatur Police responded to an accident involving three vehicles on North Decatur Road at North Superior Avenue,” Police Lt. Jennifer Ross said. “The accident investigation revealed that a red 2011 GMC Acadia traveling westbound on North Decatur Road crossed over the center line and struck the driver’s side front panel of a red 1998 Chevrolet Impala stopped eastbound in the inside lane at the intersection.  The impact spun the Chevrolet Impala around, causing it to strike a white 2001 Honda Accord that was stopped eastbound directly behind the Chevrolet. The drivers of the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Impala sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to area hospitals. The driver of the Honda Accord did not report any injuries. The GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Impala sustained disabling damage and were towed. The Honda Accord sustained functional damage and was removed by the owner. The driver of the GMC Acadia was cited for failure to maintain lane.”

Readers sent in photos from the scene. Residents in the area have been asking the city to do something about the intersection for years. There have been dozens of accidents at that intersection over the years. A current total was not immediately available.

In a letter to the editor published last year, resident David Slagle wrote, “You don’t have to be an expert prognosticator to know that (another) tragedy is coming to this intersection.”

“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,” Slagle wrote.

Proposed improvements to the intersection were part of an updated Community Transportation Plan the City Commission adopted in 2018.

The plan identified the following issues with the intersection:

– Geometry of N. Decatur Road creates downhill blind curve, causing westbound drivers to not see the traffic signal until they are in close proximity to the intersection. This contributes to red light running and rear-end collisions when cars are stopped on westbound N. Decatur Road waiting to turn left onto southbound N. Superior Avenue.

– Four-lane cross section with moderate traffic volumes encourages high vehicular speeds.

– Overall complex pedestrian environment

Source: Community Transportation Plan

The transportation plan suggests widening North Decatur Road to create a left-turn lane. It calls for a new warning signal and signage, high visibility cross walks and a pedestrian refuge in the median on the west side of the intersection. Making the improvements could be a costly endeavor. It will require 12 feet of right of way and the relocation of the existing retaining wall on the northeast corner.

Mayor Patti Garrett has said it could cost $1.5 million. Last year, she told Decaturish that the intersection is complicated because most of North Decatur Road is in unincorporated DeKalb County.

She said, “only about 530 yards of street length [is] located within the city of Decatur, including the intersection of North Decatur Road and Superior/North Superior Road where traffic signals are operated by DeKalb County.”

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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