COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — In a unanimous decision Monday night, the city council in Commerce City voted to install speed tables outside all schools in the city, belonging to both Adams 14 and 27J districts, after the death of a teenage girl in a hit-and-run crash near an elementary school prompted citizen petitions demanding action.
Kara Kincaid, 16, was walking home from a friend's house Tuesday evening when she was killed crossing 76th Avenue near Monaco Elementary, her family said.
"It’s unsafe in the streets in Commerce City," said Elizabeth Vargas, who helped collect signatures demanding traffic calming devices near the school. "They need to get safely to the school. And this is a problem that we have and they need to solve it."
City Council agreed. Mayor Benjamin Huseman added a last-minute agenda item to address traffic calming -- and urged the council to agree to install "speed tables" outside all Adams 14 and 27J district schools in the city.
"At some point in time you say enough with the studies, it’s time to just move and it’s time to take action," he said. "I think this tragic event is a drastic call to action, and that’s the direction that we’re taking."
The tables, essentially elongated speed bumps, should be in place by the start of the next school year, Huseman said.
The measure passed by the council also offered to pay for and install the devices outside the two Adams 14 schools in unincorporated Adams County, including outside Monaco Elementary.
"The council does need to stand up for the residents even though it’s an unincorporated area," Commerce City Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Allen-Thomas said. "I believe in making the change and doing something before it does happen again."
In a statement, Adams County Commission Chair Steve O'Dorisio offered condolences to Kincaid's family and said the county was in the midst of a county-wide safety study, which started this year and will take about two years to complete.
"We are also working on developing a forum where residents can engage with representatives from Adams County and Commerce City to contribute to this crucial conversation about public safety," O'Dorisio said.
"I know my counterparts in the county, I love them all," Huseman said. "I do believe that they will do the right thing as well in working toward ensuring the safety of their residents the same way as we’re doing ours."
Colorado State Patrol did not have any updates on the search for the driver who killed Kincaid. They released a photo of a red Dodge Magnum involved in the crash, which may have damage to the front headlights. Anyone with information about the driver, car or crash is asked to call investigators.
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