Dangerous Intersection In Front of Dunwoody High School

In 2018 I wrote to the city about the dangerous intersection at Vermack/Womack. You can read my original email and the responses I received below. Nothing has changed since that time and accidents and near misses continue to happen with alarming frequency.

Just this past week, the Dunwoody Police Department posted about a serious accident that totaled a FedEx vehicle and a passenger vehicle. The mangled vehicle photos are below. Thankfully no one was injured. Between this intersection and the Tilly Mill/Mt. Vernon Place intersection, it’s a miracle more people aren’t injured or worse.

I am reiterating my call for the City of Dunwoody to do something about the intersection in front of Dunwoody High School before there is another accident.

Email To The City of Dunwoody
Mayor: Lynn Deutsch
City Council: Joe Seconder, Jim Ritcher, Tom Lambert, John Heneghan, Pam Tallmadge, Stacey Harris
Former City Council Member: Terry Nall
Police Chief: Billy Grogan
City Manager: Eric Linton
Assistant City Manager: Jay Vinicki

As you are well aware, last week there was another serious accident in front of Dunwoody High School at the corner of Womack and Vermack.

As commented by the mother of the young man who was hit,

“My sons car was hit in this accident, the FedEx driver ran through the stop sign, he said he didn’t see it😫
The air bags deployed, so grateful he wasn’t hurt.”

As you can see from the email chain below, a few years ago I asked the City of Dunwoody to reassess the traffic control measures at the corner of Womack and Vermack. To this day, several times a year I come within seconds of getting hit at that intersection. They aren’t rolling the 4-way stop, they flat out don’t see it, or choose not to stop.

I suspect there are additional measures that can be taken.

This time we were lucky there were no serious injuries. Please don’t wait until there is a fatality to do something about this intersection.

Email chain with the City of Dunwoody

From: Stan Jester
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2018 1:35 PM
To: Terry Nall <Terry.Nall@dunwoodyga.gov>
Cc: Jim Riticher; Eric Linton; Jessica Guinn; B. Grogan
Subject: Re: Stop Sign DHS

These cats aren’t California rolling the stop sign, they are blowing through it at full speed.  My interpretation is that they don’t see it.  I would have been T-Boned at 40ish miles an hour if I didn’t see it coming.  Given the flashing red lights, I’m not sure what else can be done.

Just something to think about.  Thanks for listening.  Happy Holidays to you and your family.  –Stan

From: B. Grogan
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2018 9:57 AM
To: Stan Jester
Cc: Jim Riticher; Eric Linton; Jessica Guinn; B. Grogan
Subject: Re: Stop Sign DHS

Stan,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. As Terry said, this is one of the areas that does get a lot of enforcement due to its location. I will definitely pass this on for some additional enforcement.

Have a great day.

Regards,
Billy J. Grogan

From: Terry Nall
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2018 1:13 PM
To: Stan Jester
Cc: Jim Riticher ; Eric Linton ; Jessica Guinn ; B. Grogan
Subject: Re: Stop Sign DHS

Hi Stan,

Thanks for your note.

I cc’d Chief Grogan, but I am aware the intersection of Womack Rd at Vermack Rd is part of the active enforcement by Dunwoody PD and especially during school days.

Unfortunately, some of our drivers in and around the city treat stop signs more casually than they should.  Since I live on Vernon North Dr, we see it quite a bit at our 3-way stop on Mt Vernon Way, despite the regular enforcement of Dunwoody PD.

Unlike our 3-way stop intersection, Vermack/Womack has the added traffic control device of a flashing red light, as well as the stop signs, so it surely cannot be a question of unable to see the stop signal devices.

Hope you and your family had an awesome Thanksgiving!

Terry Nall
Dunwoody City Council Member (At Large)

From: Terry Nall; Jim Riticher
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2018 12:57 PM
To: Terry Nall; Jim Riticher
Cc: Jim Riticher ; Eric Linton ; Jessica Guinn ; B. Grogan
Subject: Re: Stop Sign DHS

Terry and Jim,
I wanted to drop you a note about the stop sign at Womack and Vermack. 2 or 3 times a year somebody blows through that stop sign right in front of me.

It happened again this afternoon. I saw it coming and was able to blow my horn to tell another person coming the other way to stop.

Thanks,
Stan

13 responses to “Dangerous Intersection In Front of Dunwoody High School

  1. Good luck. I am in Chamblee and Dunwoody on a daily basis and see this type of awful driving many times a week.
    We can hope to improve the intersections, put in better signs and add islands but it comes down to the individual.
    There are many people that simply don’t know how to drive, those that choose to ignore road safety rules and laws and those that simply don’t care and wish to speed thru red lights.
    I honestly don’t know what the answers are, it starts with education in school and tougher driving exams and training.
    Like my Uncle told me when he taught me to drive at 13, a car is not simply a mode of transport its a weapon and give it the respect it deserves.

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  2. @LaptopBoy. I agree that the most effective measure is better driving, granted I don’t know how the city is going to make that happen. I posit that these two intersections can be made safer by the city. This young man was just a few feet from getting a Fedex truck in the ear.

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  3. Dunwoody Denizen

    Some places will put stripes of indentions (I don’t know the official term) in the road as you approach an unexpected stop sign- causes a noise and vibration to draw your attention. Could that be done here?

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  4. @Dunwoody Denizen, What can be done? Good question. I like your recommendation. I’d like to see how the City of Dunwoody suggests we step it up there.

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  5. @Dunwoody Denizen – rumble strips, they work well, good suggestion.

    My top 5 worst offenders;

    1. Brown and Brown wrecker
    2. OK Taxi
    3. Carvana
    4. Fedex
    5. UPS

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  6. DunwoodyTalk

    @StanJester @DunwoodyGA if a deer gets hit at Vermack Womack you’ll get people’s attention. Until then, buckle up. @DunwoodyPolice @JimR_ATL

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  7. A traffic circle would also slow traffic and prevent folks from running a light.

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  8. Rumble strips…neighbors will have a tough choice. Noise or safety.

  9. Stan,

    Thank you as always for having our kids back as your first interest. Your effort to improve this intersection ought to be expended to include holding delivery vehicle drivers to a higher standard of care. These trucks proliferate everywhere with the uptick in post-Scourge home delivery!

    My comment comes from a place of mutual concern. That the problem intersection was dutifully recognized as a bottleneck/safety issue by the Transportation Committee shortly after incorporation. That Committee recommended a round-a-bout as a solution based on my recollections as a member.

    Some may may recall the unpleasantness that suggestion drew from immediate neighbors. Since then the intersection improvement plan went dormant – Yet our streets become much more busy, especially with delivery vehicles.

    Your efforts should be recognized and expanded to include some sort of recognition that delivery vehicles have taken over residential streets, mostly safely, but some are driven without regard to little kids, pedestrians, bicyclists.

    Somebody is going to get hurt!

    – Have a safe and Happy New Year

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  10. Ken Thompson

    I live just off Chamblee Dunwoody north of the village close to where a student was hit after getting off the bus (a few years back, not killed, definitely hurt) and even that did not result an effective response from the City PD. The school eliminated the crossing guard at the Knoll many years ago and excepting Wednesdays almost no one walks to school.

    Speeding is uncontrolled, but when monitored with a radar trailer the report focuses much more on “averages” which includes folks turning out of Redfield and downplays the superspeeders coming from Spalding. It is a no-truck zone which is widely ignored and never enforced with Touch Down Al having been told that there aren’t enough offenders to justify the cost of enforcement. TD has tried over the years to get MARTA, FedEx and UPS to slow down, get a stop sign on C-D Road at one of the Harris Circle or the Knoll intersection, and get consistent and effective traffic enforcement. MARTA dropped the route, likely not due to TD. The stop sign was an emphatic no. And positive response from law enforcement was much better with DeKalb County than with CoD.

    There isn’t much the district can do and if there were they don’t have the money. They cannot afford subs let alone crossing guards. Speed tables at key intersections would be an effective option but I don’t see this city moving forward with anything like that unless Congress starts handing out grants for “Safe Cities” with constraints on how it can be spent.

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  11. Turning left out of DHS onto Womack (just before you get to the stop sign) at the end of the school day is the scariest turn ever.

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  12. Haven't We Been Here Before?

    Let’s go back to 2012 and discuss the round-a-bout again! Seriously though … I think that’s the best solution. I go through that intersection several times a day and I can’t believe that nothing has been done to rectify the issues.

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  13. Fix it before someone dies

    Just a few notes about what DCSD can do.

    1. DO NOT have a Middle School Bus stop at this intersection as they have in the past. As late as 2019-2020 kids were getting off the bus and walking in all 4 directions at the 4 way stop. Why is this happening? I personally witnessed kids getting off this bus, weaving in and out of cars and creating a danger for not only themselves but drivers as well. I won’t get into the lovely child that raised his middle fingers as he loafed around the intersection to cars and spit on the ground in front of several cars while screaming explicit words at everyone over the course of several weeks before school shuttered for Covid. That child is the expectation of the behavior tolerated at Peachtree Middle School.

    2. Close the turns on to Womack from DHS, this is not only dangerous to those leaving the school but those driving down Womack after crossing the 4 way stop. Have all cars exit out of the Vermack Road and Vanderlyn Dr. employ traffic control if necessary.

    What Dunwoody has as options:

    1. Ignore the noise about land being lost by homeowners and build a round about or install a light with turn signals. (a rumble strip will not stop the bad driving behaviors, sorry, folks don’t want to know how a 4 way stop works)
    2. Install a light and add turn lanes, if we’re going to do it at Womack and Chamblee Dunwoody, why not do it further back.
    3. Employ a traffic officer during peak hours of commuting/school hours. Have a cop stand in the middle of the road to direct traffic.

    There are all of 10 homeowners if not fewer that create noise about changing this intersection, some who will have children driving soon, they are willfully ignorant to the dangers of this intersection to not only drivers but to pedestrians, they need to be ignored and construction needs to start ASAP.

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