DeKalb County DOT Creates Hazard and Then Just Leaves It

March 9, 2023


Michael L. Thurmond

CEO, DeKalb County

1300 Commerce Drive

Decatur, GA 30030


DeKalb County Board of Commissioners

1300 Commerce Drive

5th Floor

Decatur, GA 30030


Re: Hazardous Situation at the Intersection of North Decatur Road and Oakdale Road Created by Installation of “Mini-Roundabout”

Dear Chief Executive Officer Thurmond and Commissioners:

I am writing to make you, the DeKalb County Department of Transportation, completely aware of the hazardous condition that DeKalb Transportation has now created at the intersection of Oakdale Road and North Decatur Road, which is in unincorporated DeKalb County.  I have lived on Oakdale Road for 28 years. This intersection was already dangerous to cross, with T-bone collisions occurring there weekly. DeKalb County was well aware of this danger. Rather than make the intersection safer, however, by installing traffic lights, DeKalb County elected to install a misguided obstacle course that it refers to an a “mini-roundabout.” This has only made this intersection more dangerous. I almost got killed yesterday as I attempted to drive across North Decatur Road in my car on Oakdale.

The newly created obstacle in the middle of the intersection is confusing. I have enclosed several photographs of the current situation. It is not a roundabout, which all DeKalb citizens know how to navigate. It is a circle of bricks installed in the middle of the intersection that cars must judge whether their vehicle can drive over it without damage to the undercarriage. SUVs


Michael L. Thurmond

DeKalb County Commissioners

March 9, 2023

Page Two


speed over it without the least little problem. Other lower cars can maneuver around it, but no driver treats it as a roundabout. The signage is inherently contradictory. There are stop signs for vehicles on Oakdale Road, but only yield signs for vehicles on North Decatur Road. Yield to what? There are even both yield and stop signs for Oakdale Road vehicles. Is the driver supposed to pick one to follow? Oakdale Road vehicles must still come to a complete stop before saying a “Hail Mary” and taking their lives into their own hands in attempting to cross North Decatur Road. North Decatur Road vehicles are not treating it as a “roundabout,” they are not stopping, and they are driving right through it. In addition to being contradictory and confusing, the signs themselves block drivers’ views of North Decatur Road. It is nearly impossible now to see whether a car traveling on North Decatur Road is approaching Oakdale Road. Incredibly, it appears that no one of behalf of the people who “designed” this nightmare ever sat in vehicles themselves to see if the signage obstructed their views. If they did so and left the signage up that obstructs a driver’s view, then they are even more culpable.

God forbid you’re a pedestrian. This obstacle course now erected in the middle of the intersection makes it almost impossible for any pedestrian to cross North Decatur Road without being mowed over by a vehicle or, at a minimum, a near miss from being run over. And the “pedestrian cutouts” installed on Oakdale have been installed not in the intersection, but several feet down from the intersection, which causes pedestrians and disabled citizens who may be in wheelchairs coming out in the middle of Oakdale Road. This cannot possibly comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.  In fact, it appears as if whoever made the absurd decision to install this obstacle course on North Decatur Road never even considered the mandates of the ADA or how in the world a disabled person would ever be able to navigate this monstrosity safely.

This situation, created by DeKalb County, needs to be remedied immediately. Someone is going to get killed because of what DeKalb County has done. I am writing to you not only to implore you to fix this deadly situation, but also to make sure that when someone does die because of the hazard DeKalb County has created, my letter will be part of a response to any Open Records Act request made by the decedent’s lawyer. DeKalb County will not be able to claim “it didn’t know” about this hazardous situation that it created.  I pray you fix it before that happens.

I am happy to discuss this with you at any time.


Respectfully yours,


Robin Frazer Clark


Cc:  David Pelton, Director of Transportation


Robert Patrick, District 1

Michelle Long Spears, District 2

Larry Johnson, District 3

Steve Bradshaw, District 4

Mereda Davis Johnson, District 5

Ted Terry, District 6

Lorraine Cochran-Johnson, District 7


Robin Frazer Clark is a trial lawyer who pursues justice for those who have personal injury claims as a result of being injured in motor vehicle wrecks, trucking wrecks, defective products, defective maintenance of roads, premises safety, medical malpractice and other incidents caused by the negligence of others.  Ms. Clark is the 50th President of the State Bar of Georgia, a Past President of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, a Past President of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and has practiced law in Georgia for 35 years. She is a member of the International Society of Barristers and of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mrs. Clark is listed as one of the Top 50 Women Trial Lawyers in Georgia and is a Georgia Super Lawyer. Ms. Clark is the co-host of the podcast “See You In Court,” sponsored by the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation.  Ms. Clark has tried over 75 jury trials and argued in Georgia Appellate Courts over 45 times.

Robin Frazer Clark ~ Dedicated to the Constitution’s Promise of Justice for All.


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