Take to Task

Item: Decatur (DeKalb)

We told you about Tom Peterman’s anxiety over a dead tree in October.

“Every few months the AJC reports on someone who was killed by a falling tree. I usually attribute it to bad luck. In this case, death is preventable ... if you can get this tree removed before it falls on someone. My reports to the DOT website have gone nowhere. The dead tree will fall on LaVista Road near Amanda Circle. This is near my house so the life you save may be my own,” wrote Peterman.

We contacted the DOT, who determined it was not in the right of way. DOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said the department would contact the property owner.

After seeing Dale’s response, Peterman started doing more research.

“I have now located a source for that information and the right-of-way is 50 feet, so the tree is clearly within that. This is also confirmed by markers from a recent survey done for that house, where the property line is marked at the fence, 8 ft 8 inches from the tree,” Peterman said.

Peterman added the courts could adjudicate the issue after this tree falls on someone, but that would defeat our purpose, which is to prevent that death.

“Can you please try reaching someone else? Traffic backs up to that point every rush hour. Unless it is removed, that tree will fall. We are running out of time to save a life,” said Peterman.

Dale pledged to have DOT crews go back out and review the situation.

Days on the list: 36

Who’s getting it fixed: DOT spokesman Natalie Dale, ndale@dot.ga.gov