DEKALB CO, Ga – A Dekalb County family’s walk to school is much safer now that a stretch of sidewalk is free of thick debris.

Earlier this year, 11Alive’s Commuter Dude followed the Lee family during their early morning walk to Henderson Mill Elementary School. The sidewalk closest to the school was covered with a thick bed of dirt, kudzu, leaves, and limbs. Instead of crossing Henderson Mill Road at a traffic light, the Lees were forced to walk a route that brought them to a crosswalk often ignored by rush hour drivers.

The Lees now have a safe path to school.

“It's way better,” says Kevin Lee. “Now, we cross the street over there. We walk up this way. It's much easier.”

After Commuter Dude reached out to Dekalb County, it took crews a couple of tries to complete the task.

A county crew first arrived with shovels, only to find the debris so thick, they had to abandon their efforts return with heavy equipment.

“A lady who walks her dog on a regular basis, someone who jogs on a regular basis have mentioned how it’s better,” says Lee. “People are noticing.”

The leaves are falling again. Given time, if not properly maintained, the issue will return. This weekend’s time change will allow the Lees to walk with some daylight, which will help.

“The route to school has been more pleasant,” says Lee. “We feel a lot more secure.”