Over the last four months I have been trying to ensure that the intersection which many of our children use to cross North Peachtree Road over to Peachtree Charter Middle School will be constructed both properly and in a timely manner. We appear to again be at a stalemate situation whereby neither the school board nor the county wants to pay for the needed road improvements. You would think that common sense would tell you that the school taxes we pay should go towards education and the county taxes should go towards road improvements. But I guess common sense can be tough to find in government these days and that is why we have lawyers. In 2002, the DeKalb Legal Department put out a memo stating that it was the responsibility of the County to improve the roads and the School Board should educate children and maintain the school grounds. Since it now appears that the County still wants the School Board to pay for the road improvements at Peachtree, I have asked the DeKalb Legal Department to verify their previous position from 2002.
Dear Ms. Allen & Mr. Linkous,
As you can see by the length of this e-mail string, I have had concerns regarding the intersection improvement at Peachtree Charter Middle School since early December. Though I am happy that the driveway is finally open, I am still concerned with the safety of this project since it has not been completed and it appears that we are again at a stalemate over the funding of the needed improvements yet to be made.
I believe Ms. Pope of the DeKalb County School System is hesitant about allowing her general contractor to go forward with road striping, cross walks and handicap curb cuts when she believes that the County Government should be paying for the traffic improvements off school property.
Mr. Linkous, I have attached a memorandum from the DeKalb County Attorney dated January 11, 2002 which gives the opinion, along with related case law, that the DeKalb School Board is expressly prohibited from expending funds to cover traffic improvements outside the boundaries of the school property. As such, DeKalb County must fund any traffic improvements outside the school, which are on public roads. Does your office still stand behind the policy of this memo and if not, may I please get the Counties official interpretation including the relevant law on which your new opinion is based?
Ms. Allen, if the county is responsible for this intersection improvement, it needs to be completed as per the final plans as soon as possible. Presently there is a non-existent left turn lane into the school which is being used in that fashion, nonexistent cross walks or cross walks which lead students directly into a lane of traffic for the driveway into the school. The handicap curb cuts will also need to match the crosswalks which will be coming in at different angles.
Mr. Linkous, I look forward to your reply.
John Heneghan, President
Dunwoody North Civic Association