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Concerned residents want 4-way stop signs or traffic lights at dangerous Weld County intersection

Traffic study: Criteria not met for change
Residents want change at dangerous intersection
Residents want change at dangerous intersection
Residents want change at dangerous intersection
Posted at 7:59 PM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 21:59:24-05

FIRESTONE, Colo. -- Wendy King says she has seen enough.

In the 15 years King has lived east of Firestone, she has seen the aftermath of numerous car and truck crashes at the intersection of Weld County Roads 24 & 19.

She recalls many of them.

"There was a semi-truck," she said. "We don't know if he stopped or blew through the intersection, but it crashed and shot flames 50 feet into the air."

She said there was a another crash that injured 11 people.

Some of the car crashes have been fatal.

"One was a father," she said. "He had a basketball schedule for his kids in the vehicle. Flight for life came, but he passed away."

Larger Stop Signs

King said public works officials placed larger stop signs, with flashing red lights, for east and westbound traffic.

They also posted "Cross Traffic Does Not Stop" signs.

"They went so far as to put in rumple strips," she added.

But King said those improvements aren't enough. 

She wants to see 4-way stop signs or even a traffic light.

"I know it might frustrate a lot of people," she said, "but you know, a few more minutes could save a life."

Denver7 asked Firestone officials what more can be done to make the intersection safer. We're still waiting for answers.

Traffic Engineering Study

An intersection engineering study by Fox Tuttle Hernandez Transportation Group determined that 2,934 vehicles per day travel on WCR 24, and that 3,829 vehicles per day travel on WCR 19.

The study shows that between March 3, 2016 and March 30, 2017, there were five reported crashes, and "all reports state that the cause was the failure of east and westbound traffic to yield the right of way to north and southbound vehicles."

The study also indicates that the five crashes, in a 13-month period, did not meet the minimum criteria for installation of all-way stop signs.

Had those accidents happened in a 12-month period, it would have met one particular criteria.

Recommendations

The firm made three recommendations:

  • Replace the existing "Cross Traffic Does Not Stop" signs with oversized 48-inch by 24-inch signs on the east and westbound approaches to the intersection.
  • Replace existing "Intersection" warning signs on the north and southbound approaches with larger 36-inch by 36-inch signs.
  • Install a 45 mph speed limit sign on the southbound approach closer to the intersection.

Frustration

"We're very frustrated," Ms. King said. "To me, it's like one death would be enough."

King said every time she approaches the intersection and sees first responders on scene, she can't help but wonder whether it's someone she knows.

"It's scary," she said. "I know so many people who live here. You always wonder, 'is it my family member? Is it somebody I know?'"