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Police begin St. Paul LRT safety campaign

  • Article by: Nicole Norfleet
  • Star Tribune
  • April 18, 2014 - 9:49 AM

Standing near one of the busiest Twin Cities intersections, Metro Transit and St. Paul police Thursday launched an education and enforcement campaign to make sure pedestrians and drivers are all on board with light-rail safety.

“We want to educate the public as best we can to make sure that this is a very safe new thing for the city of St. Paul,” Paul Iovino, a commander with the St. Paul Police Department said as he stood on the platform of the light-rail station at Snelling and University Avenues.

With the opening of the light-rail line — called the Green Line — less than two months away, the trains will soon begin full-schedule testing, running as often as every 10 minutes during the day.

Metro Transit Police Capt. Jim Franklin said that Metro Transit and St. Paul police launched the safety campaign this week to get out in front of the issue before the line opens June 14.

“Our goal is to educate the public and ensure that they are using safe, common-sense habits,” Franklin said.

The campaign focuses on making sure drivers and pedestrians obey traffic and crossing signals at intersections along the line. It also educates the public on how to use midblock crossings.

Officers will patrol the light-rail route in squad cars, on bicycles and on foot in coming weeks and will issue citations to those ignoring signs or signals. Schedules and safety materials also will be distributed near the light-rail stations.

“We got people crossing the barriers in some cases. We got motorists making left turns at times that maybe they shouldn’t be or getting stuck in the middle of the intersection on the tracks in some cases,” St. Paul City Council Member Russ Stark said. “We just want to make sure that people are out here realizing that safety is going to be number one.”

For more information on Green Line safety, visit metrotransit.org/greenline.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @stribnorfleet

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