Archive | Safety

What Can Walkers Learn From Winter Cyclists?

I live in a privileged St. Paul neighborhood with professional cyclists — men and women of varying ages who commute by bicycle all year round, including during the recent polar vortex. Their financial investment, beyond the cost of the bicycles themselves, includes heavy gloves, facemasks, hard-bottomed boots, helmets and goggles, lights and reflectors, and reflective […]

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An Easy Way to Make Suburbs More Walkable: Sidewalk Shortcuts

Making the suburbs, especially outer ring suburbs, walkable will require a significant shift in how we treat pedestrians in terms of infrastructure investment and in terms of interacting with them while driving. However, there is an easy way to make the suburbs more walkable without requiring significant investment: simply adding a sidewalk connecting streets and […]

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Sonnet, or Love Song

Pedestrian leading interval, YAY! Hark! Proclaim your wondrous utility, Yet, simple with so much humility, Very easy to cross the street today, Protected in all my fragility, From car and truck driver hostility, So cheerful even when the skies are grey. Gratitude be to Saint Paul Public Works, For installing them all over the place, […]

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Cars Don’t Hit Pedestrians, Drivers Do

This past week, several people were injured or killed in traffic collisions. The English language was also savaged by media organizations reporting on the incidents. Pioneer Press: “Minnesota pedestrians, age 71 and 83, killed in separate incidents Wednesday” It’s not just a headline, it’s a lede: “Authorities have identified two women who were killed in […]

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One Month Later: A RRFB Crossing Failed

Just over a month after I wrote a post criticizing county traffic engineers for a half-baked attempt at protecting pedestrians and cyclists crossing busy streets, I unfortunately was proven right by a crossing in Anoka County. On November 20 two girls crossing Highway 47 at Pederson Drive in St. Francis were struck at the crosswalk […]

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Minneapolis Does Not Need More Police

Lyndale neighborhood, the only place I’ve lived and known as home in Minnesota, hosts the Fifth Precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department three blocks north of my apartment and garden on Nicollet Avenue. There is a community room meeting the corner of 31st Street with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, an architectural manifestation of the […]

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RRFBs: A False Sense of Protection

When Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) started appearing in Bloomington and Edina I thought they would be a huge improvement for pedestrian safety, but having used them numerous times I’ve realized they’re a compromise on safety and neither motorists or pedestrians are the winners. RRFBs are a safety device used at crosswalks in which a […]

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Minneapolis 2040: Zero Vision

An Open Letter to Minneapolis 2040 Planners and Politicians: Donald Trump crossed the ocean to London, England this past summer only to land in a sea of local outrage and demonstrations, including signs and a comically small Baby Trump protest blimp. I’m glad to see people exercising their free speech rights but Trump’s visit clouded […]

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Time to Kill the Northeast Minneapolis Death Roads

Insight Brewery. Familia skatepark. Five Watt Coffee. Headflyer Brewing.  What do all of these places have in common, besides being almost unbearably hip? They’re all sitting on a death trap street named East Hennepin Avenue. Here’s a fun experiment: Next time you drive down East Hennepin, actually drive at the 30 miles per hour speed limit […]

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In 1923, You Could Buy Pedestrian Insurance for 75 Cents

If you subscribed to the Minneapolis Daily Star in 1923, you could get a year’s worth of pedestrian insurance for an extra 75 cents.   The add-on deal was just what it sounds like: insurance coverage for injuries (including fatal injuries) you might incur while walking across the street. The offer, through the North American Accident […]

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