DEKALB CO., Ga – Changes are coming to a Dekalb County intersection where teachers and parents have been using the “pray and gun it” method.
Finch Academy is a child care center and private school in Lithonia. The driveway to the school meets the busy intersection of Panola Road and Marbut Road. There is a traffic light to guide drivers in every direction except those trying to leave the school.
Parent Teresa Martin says she’s reached out to Dekalb County numerous times asking for help.
“We usually roll on green, red, or yellow,” says Martin. “Why should I have to roll on a prayer and gun it?”
Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes had his camera rolling as he attempted to leave Finch Academy. He could see the lights on Panola, sort of. Since there’s no light facing you, it’s difficult to tell if it’s safe to cross onto Marbut Road. As Commuter Dude proceeded into the intersection, a vehicle appeared over a hill attempting to turn in front of him.
Jafany Finch transformed what was a private residence into Finch Academy fifteen years ago.
When traffic along Panola Road began to grow, she reached out to Dekalb County about the lack of green and red in front of the school.
“Really it was kind of a runaround,” says Finch. “It was, ok, we're not over that department so call this number. We would call that number and get an automatic voice.”
The runaround is over.
On behalf of the school and parents, Commuter Dude contacted Dekalb County. The next day, a spokesperson emailed to say parents and teachers would get their long awaited traffic signal.
The county is planning upgrades to the intersection's pedestrian crossings and is now searching for a contractor to do the work.
Teresa Martin is eager to replace her "pray and gun it" method of commuting.