COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Many in the Colorado Springs community are calling for a change in speed zones and safety parameters for local high schools and middle schools.
The calls for action follow the death of a 17-year-old student, Giorgia Trocciola who was killed on her way to school Wednesday morning. Trocciola was an Italian foreign exchange student studying at Doherty.
The death has raised questions regarding school zoning speed laws in the City of Colorado Springs.
Thursday afternoon in a press conference, officials with the City of Colorado Springs and School District 11, addressed the safety concerns of parents and community members regarding the death of the student.
This comes a day after local grassroots efforts working on getting these speed zone laws changed. A petition, started by concerned citizen Melissa Fredrick, seeks District 11 and the City of Colorado Springs to bring these changes immediately.
The petition states, "I have edited this petition to ensure the cause is fully understood. This petition is NOT about placing blame on the City, the school, or the district. They are loving caring people who have been deeply affected by this tragedy. This petition is about accountability moving forward to create better student safety in the future. It is with great sadness that we have learned that yet ANOTHER student was hit by a car arriving at Doherty High School on March 22, 2023, and has since passed away from those injuries. Hearts in our community are broken yet AGAIN and it is PAST TIME that our community demands change; our children DESERVE to be SAFE."
The petition goes on for calls for "immediate action" regarding District 11 and the City of Colorado Springs, proposing changes in the speed limit, the addition of flashing crosswalk lights, and calls for an overhead walking bridge for students to cross Barnes Road.
Barnes Road where Giorgia was hit and killed, runs along the Doherty High School campus, and many questions why the road is a 35-mile-per-hour zone with the high student population.
You can view that petition here.
Todd Frisbie, the Traffic Engineering Division Manager with the City of Colorado Springs, addressed the steps the city will be taking in the coming months to address student safety. Beginning initially by announcing the change of Barnes Road from a 35-mile-per-hour road to a 20-mile-per-hour school zone.
Frisbie mentioned that commonly the city does not install school zones at high schools. This can be seen around the city with schools like Coronado, which is next to major city road routes.
The current timeline for establishing Barnes Road as a school zone is up in the air and may take a few weeks before being announced. Frisbie said the city is looking into hard signing Barnes Rd as a school zone as an immediate response from the city.
The city is working with the school district to establish flashing school zone signage on Barnes Road and surrounding areas, but due to the limited equipment inventory that Traffic Engineering keeps on hand, the timeline is delayed.
Frisbie said that while they have heard the suggestions for an overhead pedestrian bridge, that decision would ultimately have to come from the city at a future moment. The Traffic Engineering Department will be looking at other high schools in the surrounding areas but did not mention plans to change speed zoning at this time.
District 11 Superintendent Michael Gaal stated that counseling, mental health, and outreach services have been made available to all students at Doherty High School. Counselors have been in contact with student's parents informing them of their student's mental health.
No arrests have been made at this time, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department, as they are still actively investigating the facts of the crash. CSPD says the driver was completely compliant with the investigation and stayed on the scene following the crash.
This is a developing story.
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