The state of Minnesota recently announced that there has been a dramatic increase this year in the number of pedestrian-related fatalities, a fact highlighted by the recent death of a college student at the Grand Avenue and Hamline Avenue intersection this month.

Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

This week the city of St. Paul is one of five Minnesota cities launching a campaign to educate pedestrians and motorists about their rights and responsibilities. Special events were held downtown Tuesday, Sept. 25, as a part of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s “Share the Road” campaign, whose tagline is “pedestrian safety is a two-way street.”

Closer to St. Thomas, key intersections and street crossings can be dangerous if pedestrians do not pay attention.

Some specific safety items to consider:

  • It is important to understand that drivers are obliged to yield to pedestrians when they are in marked intersections or unmarked corner intersections – but they may not always do so.
  • Due to the “split intersection traffic control design” at the Summit-Cretin intersection, pedestrians are at risk if they do not have a green “walk light” because not all vehicle turn arrows are visible to pedestrians from any one corner location.
  • Many pedestrians tend to step into the street without taking their eyes from hand-held devices. A life is more important than a text message or a phone call.

Bottom line? Play it safe. Cross at the corners. Look twice before crossing. Obey all traffic signals. Save your life. If St. Paul is to be “a walkable city,” you have a responsibility to do your part.