After boy's death, new school zone speed limit to be set in Eagan

7th grader Patric Vitek died while bicycling on the road earlier this month.
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A new speed limit will be set on a stretch of road in Eagan that was the scene of the tragic death of a 13-year-old bicyclist earlier this month.

Patrick Vitek, a 7th grader at Dakota Hills Middle School, was on his way to school when he was hit by a vehicle on Diffley Road near Lexington Avenue on Nov. 1.

Diffley Road is a busy street with a speed limit of 45 mph, located close to not only Dakota Hills Middle School, but also Eagan High School and a number of stores including a Cub Foods.

On Tuesday, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners voted to establish a school zone speed limit for Diffley Road between Lexington and Dodd Road, a stretch of just over a mile.

The school zone speed limit will be in effect when students are going to or leaving school during opening or closing hours, and in school recess periods.

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The speed limit hasn't been chosen yet, with this to be decided at a later date following a study by the county engineer, with input from Independent School District 196.

A public open house will be held to discuss safety improvements on Diffley Road on Dec. 11, at the Eagan Community Center at 1501 Central Parkway.

The county is hoping to implement the speed limit as soon as possible, with further long-term safety improvements to be selected by March 1.

A GoFundMe launched for the Vitek family after Patrick's tragic death has raised almost $80,000.

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