The most dangerous places to walk in Minneapolis
- Blog Post by: Eric Roper
- March 26, 2014 - 4:18 PM
Updated at 1:56 p.m.
A Star Tribune analysis of city crash data sheds some new light on the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Minneapolis.
Click here to use the interactive graphic of pedestrian crashes. Among the findings:
Cars hit pedestrians more than 900 times between 2010 and 2013, according to the city records. Almost all recorded crashes resulted in injuries — nine were 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. Eighty-four crashes occurred during this period. The most common months are October and November.
The large 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 most problematic intersection was Nicollet and Franklin Avenues (pictured below), where 11 pedestrians have been injured in three years. Many of these were caused by pedestrians crossing into traffic.
The majority of pedestrians at the second- and third- most problematic intersections for injuries, Lake Street and Blaisdell Avenue and Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue, were crossing with proper traffic signals.
Most of the worst corridors are county roads. About 100 crashes occurred on Lake Street, with another 77 occurring on Franklin Avenue.
Kelley Yemen, Hennepin County’s new bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, said the concentration of crashes in areas like Franklin and Nicollet gives her office places to focus more attention.
“That’s an area we need to start looking at and studying,” Yemen said. “And figuring out what’s really going on there as far as what movements are the issue. Is it the turns, is it pedestrian movements there that we’re not accommodating correctly? How can that work better?”
Yemen noted that it makes sense more crashes are happening on larger roads in more pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. “That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to focus on them and just kind of accept that,” Yemen said.
Scott Engel, who serves on the city’s pedestrian advisory committee, a citizen panel, was surprised the total number of crashes over three years exceeded 900. “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 and extra-visible crosswalk markings.
“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.”
The worst intersections, ordered by number of injuries and/or fatalities, were:
Franklin Avenue and Nicollet Avenue
Lake Street West and Blaisdell Avenue
Lake Street West and Lyndale Avenue
Cedar Avenue and Riverside Avenue
Hennepin Avenue and 4th Street South
4th Street North and 1st Avenue North
Hennepin Avenue and Lagoon Avenue
UPDATE: Council Member Linea Palmisano wrote MPLS to highlight the pedestrian fatality this February at Market Plaza along West Lake Street. The fatality is not reflected on the graphic because it occured this year. Palmisano has been fighting for pedestrian improvements in that area just north of Lake Calhoun. More details on those proposals are available here.
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