‘This is a small step in the right direction’: Flashers installed at intersection where young mom killed

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - An intersection on the north side of Colorado Springs has a new look following a petition to make the area safer.

A Colorado Springs city employee installed a flashing light on top of a stop sign on Austin Bluffs at the intersection of Rangewood on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019.

On April 4, 2018, Bri Templeton was turning at the intersection of Austin Bluffs and Rangewood near the Briargate YMCA when another driver blew through a stop sign and t-boned Templeton’s car, killing her.

11 News previously reported that Templeton’s friends and family started an online petition to have traffic lights installed at the intersection instead of the oversized stop signs that were in place when the crash happened. Nearly 8,000 people signed the petition.

“A stoplight definitely grabs people’s attention, especially at night,” said Ashley Wiggins, Templeton’s sister.

11 News spoke with Todd Frisbie, the city’s traffic engineer, who said he analyzed crash and traffic data for the intersection to determine if it needed a stoplight.

“The data showed two crashes over a one-year period. Typically, we look for five types of crashes in a one-year period,” Frisbie said. “It did not meet the signal warrant from a crash perspective.”

Instead, the city installed flashing lights on top of the stop signs on Austin Bluffs to draw more attention to them.

“Although this was not what we had originally petitioned for, I know that it was disappointing hearing that we didn’t qualify for a traffic light. We still are so appreciative and thankful that this is a small step in the right direction,” Wiggins said.

Frisbie said the city also plans to make changes to the striping at the intersection. He expects those changes to be made in the spring.

Templeton’s friends said they were pleased with how fast the city acted.

“As soon as we talked to the city, they changed it. It was done,” Brittany Schmidt said. “Any step is a step in the right direction, I believe.”

Even though the city said the intersection did not qualify for a traffic light, Frisbie said a roundabout is an option. Templeton’s family and friends told 11 News they’re hopeful a roundabout is eventually installed, but the city said it wants to see how the flashers work first.

“We’re going to implement these relatively easy changes initially, and then evaluate and watch to see how that intersection operates in the future before we decide to put more capital investment into that intersection,” Frisbie said.

Wiggins said she’s thankful for all the support from the community.

“It definitely is just encouraging, and it’s incredible to see that a small change in the right direction is exactly what Bri would want,” she said.