In the aftermath of a fatal car accident on Sterne Parkway, at least one longtime resident of that area says speeding is a persistent problem. “For …
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In the aftermath of a fatal car accident on Sterne Parkway, at
least one longtime resident of that area says speeding is a
“For years, people have sped down this street at horrendous
speeds,” Miki Tolle said. “I just know there needs to be something
done to get people to slow down. This street is so dangerous.”
On Oct. 29, 21-year-old Dustin Willie was killed when he lost
control of his car as he was traveling west on Sterne Parkway near
South Buffalo Street. Police said excessive speed and careless
driving were contributing factors to the accident.
Tolle, who has lived in her house near the corner of Sterne
Parkway and Apache Street for 20 years, was one of the first people
on the scene of the accident. This wasn’t the first accident on her
road, she said.
“We have people almost run into the back of us all the time,”
she said. “A car crashed into our trees. I wouldn’t let my kids
play outside in the front.”
Tolle added she doesn’t like to park on the street for fear of
her car being hit by speeding drivers.
Separated by Little’s Creek, the lanes of Sterne Parkway run
east-west through a residential neighborhood from Broadway to Elati
Street. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour.
Tolle said that despite asking the city to take action to reduce
the speeding problem, a permanent solution has not been found.
City officials say Sterne Parkway is no more dangerous than
other roads in the city.
“I think it’s certainly a road, that because it’s divided, it
does encourage people to travel at an inordinate speed,” said Lt.
Trent Cooper of the Littleton Police Department. “But we don’t seem
to get a lot of complaints and we don’t have an inordinate amount
of accidents. It’s not a problem area anymore than anywhere else in
Littleton has several methods for traffic calming, including
speed bumps and electronic flashing signs that alert drivers to
their speed. Tolle would like to see a roundabout installed on
“I would be happy with, ideally, a roundabout,” she said.
For residents who think their neighborhoods could benefit from
traffic calming, there is a process they can go through, said
Deputy City Manager Phil Cortese. Residents can request a traffic
calming tool kit from the public services department and complete
some forms. The city then conducts traffic counts and speed
“We collect the data first and we have meetings and discussions
with people in the neighborhood,” Cortese said. “It’s engaging the
neighborhood to determine what options are available to them and
how we can finance them.”
But making the streets safer is not so simple, says Mayor Pro
Tem Debbie Brinkman. The best speed deterrent, she said, would be a
police presence, but that is not always cost-effective or
The solution is breaking behavior patterns of unsafe driving,
Brinkman said. The best way to do that remains an unanswered
“The solution isn’t always putting in speed bumps and it isn’t
always putting in a roundabout,” Brinkman said. “I think lighted
signs are the most effective non-punitive traffic slowdown methods
we have. But it’s a problem we are not ever going to get rid of and
the best we can do is to mitigate it to keep our streets as safe as
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