“I’ve always said I’m going to die in that intersection,” Gallagher, executive director of the Stevens Square Neighborhood Association, said about the busy transit hub.
It turns out he was on to something.
A Star Tribune analysis of pedestrian crash data sheds some new light on the most dangerous intersections for walking in Minneapolis.
Among the findings: That intersection had the most pedestrians injured over the last three years. Most of the 11 injuries were caused by pedestrians crossing into traffic.
The analysis also found that cars hit pedestrians more than 900 times between 2010 and 2013. Almost all recorded crashes resulted in injuries — nine caused fatalities. About 24 percent were classified as hit-and-runs.
The most common time for pedestrians to be hit was between 6 and 7 p.m. The most common months for accidents are October and November.
The majority of crashes — 304 — occurred when a pedestrian was crossing with the traffic signal.
In 359 crashes, failure to yield the right-of-way was cited as a vehicular contributing factor.
Other common pedestrian actions were crossing into traffic (149 crashes), crossing without a signal or crosswalk (107 crashes), crossing in marked crosswalk (91 crashes), and crossing against traffic signal (85 crashes).
The majority of pedestrians at the second- and third-most problematic intersections for injuries, Lake Street and Blaisdell Avenue (nine injuries) and Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue (also nine), were crossing with proper traffic signals.
Most of the worst corridors are also county roads. About 100 crashes occurred on Lake Street, for example, with another 77 occurring on Franklin Avenue.
Scott Engel, who serves on the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a citizen panel, found the 900 crashes surprising. “The only time we hear about it is when there is a fatality or a very, very severe injury,” he said.
He said places like Nicollet Avenue do not have enough pedestrian improvements, like bumped-out corners.
“If that same intersection [Nicollet-Franklin] was in Linden Hills it would have been addressed 20 years ago,” Engel said. “So I think the constituents are probably not calling the policymakers and saying this needs to be addressed.”