MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The city of Eagan, Dakota County and School District 196 have collaboratively announced that they are working to change speed restrictions along Diffley Road in Eagan.
This comes after 13-year-old Patric Vitek was struck and killed while biking to school earlier this month.
In a press release Friday afternoon, the panel of organizations said they are hoping to have a full school zone in place by the time students return from holiday break in early January.
Greta and Nick Bliek have two kids who go to Northview Elementary School along Diffley Road.
“I drop my daughter off there every morning and it’s really challenging to get across the road in the mornings,” Greta Bliek said.
Jeff Swanson says Diffley Road has been a problem for 26 years he’s lived along it.
“I’ve always thought that the Diffley speed limit in front of a school zone was too fast at 45 mph,” Swanson said.
Back in February, Dakota County held an open house to hear from parents and neighbors on how to make Diffley Road safer. The county tells WCCO they discussed options, but did not make any safety changes after that meeting.
“You bring it up, but nobody could ever do anything about it,” Swanson said.
Now, Dakota County, School District 196 and the city of Eagan say they will immediately move forward with plans to get approval to put speed reduction signs along Diffley Road between Lexington Avenue and Braddock Trail.
Neighbors are upset it took a loss of life to lead to change.
“This is a danger. It’s a danger every day, and the fact that it’s taking as long as it is, it’s a disappointment,” Nick Bliek said.
An open house will be held on December 11 to discuss safety plans. An earlier open house in February highlighted improvements to focus on at Diffley Road and Braddock Trail.
“The Dec. 11 open house is expected to provide a matrix of potential safety improvements, including additional, longer-term improvement options, for neighbors and parents to review and weigh in on. Longer-term safety improvements are expected to be selected by March 1,” the press release said.