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Sun Prairie revisits calls for speed limit change after fatal crash

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 11:02 PM CST
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SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (WMTV) - A Sun Prairie alder is reviving a petition to reduce the speed limit of a busy road after one of his constituents died in a crash last week.

District 1 Alderperson Steve Stocker introduced a referral at the Common Council meeting Tuesday night. He wants to change the speed limit in a section of E. Main St. near the White Trail Dr. intersection from 35 mph to 25 mph.

“Her death and the senseless tragedy that occurred just reinforces the fact that we definitely need to reduce the speed,” he said.

Stocker referred to the fatal crash involving two cars and pedestrians on Nov. 23. According to Sun Prairie Police, Julie Nelson was walking with her wife Jodi along the bike path on E. Main St. near White Trail Dr. Nelson died on scene, as Jodi, an off-duty Madison Police officer, suffered life-threatening injuries.

Officials have not disclosed what led to the crash as it is a “very active investigation,” according to Lt. Kevin Konopacki.

Stocker said he has pushed the Department of Transportation to change the speed limit for roughly two years. “I wish they would’ve listened to us earlier and possibly this accident could’ve been avoided,” he said. “It’s on the hot burner right now.”

Chanda Dolsen, a friend of the victims, said Jodi would want to see the road a safer spot for everyone. “I think it’s great,” she said. “The mere fact that they’re wanting to have a discussion is a win.”

According to Dolsen, Jodi is still in the hospital, recovering after multiple surgeries. Dolsen also said there has been an outpouring of community support: “She [Jodi] has said a couple times to me that that’s what’s going to help her get through this.”

After the Public Works Committee discusses the referral in a meeting next week, Stocker says it could go to the DOT. Officials would likely conduct speed studies to determine if traffic is actually going faster on the road.

Stocker introduced a separate referral Tuesday night, to separate merging lanes and create more “right turn only” lanes.

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