Do you feel safe as a pedestrian in the Twin Cities?

A new study has ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul as first in the nation in pedestrian safety.

Do you feel safe as a pedestrian in the Twin Cities?

Comments texted to MPR:

Skyways help boost pedestrian safety stats but roads are a bit dicey. Maybe innovations on 1st and Hennepin will help. -Suzie, Minneapolis

No. Minneapolis is the only city where I have been hit as a pedestrian. I lived my first 25 years walking in Philadelphia. -anonymous

A little fear (respect) for traffic can be a healthy thing. Feeling too safe could lead people to get too relaxed and possibly get hurt. -anonymous

Yes I do but there is the occasional incident. -Jasper Morgan, St. Paul

Yes I feel safe. Not only is Minneapolis pedestrian-friendly but the drivers are overly cautious as well. -Trevor, Minneapolis

Yes, I feel safe. -Elise, Plymouth

  • Mike in St Paul

    For the most part, yes. With all the cyclists in the Cities, I think drivers are aware of their surroundings moreso than in other places.

  • Yes, I feel safe as a pedestrian in Minneapolis. However, compared with another safe city, Seattle, Minneapolis drivers are not respectful of crosswalks, and seldom yield to pedestrians.

  • Charlie

    A few months ago, I was hit by a car while crossing the street in daylight, in a crosswalk, with a “walk” sign. I’m OK, but I don’t feel especially safe as a pedestrian anymore.

  • Peter Schuman

    Simply: no. Downtown is one thing in some cities; however, I live in a suburb which is proud of the amount of sidewalk it has, which amounts merely to perhaps 10% of the streets have a sidewalk on ONE side. I live on a 4-lane county road on the side opposite to the sidewalk, so I have to make a special effort to walk somewhere unless I want to force my way through the weeds on my side as I go past a large pond belonging to the city.

  • Jo Ann hendricks

    No! I have been cursed at and nearly run over in downtown St Paul even when I had the walk light or when I was in the cross walk. I have often thought of getting a hand-held stop sign that says “Pedestrians have the rightaway” or “Stop for Pedestrians” to carry with me and to use when crossing a street.

  • bob

    What’s the methodology for this study?

    Drivers here aren’t any better at paying attention to, and then honoring — crosswalks. And anyone who’s been to a mall parking lot has seen at least one instance where a speeding, inattentive driver has nearly hit someone on foot.

  • Hillel

    I walk between 2 and 5 miles most days in St. Paul. There is one situation where I am decidedly unsafe. It is when a driver is waiting to turn right onto a busy street and has their head turned sharply to the left while looking for a gap in traffic. If I am needing to cross in front of this driver from their right side, they have no idea whatsoever I am there as they remain completely focused on traffic coming from the left. This situation is considerably worse if the driver is also talking on their cell phone, which is often the case. I have almost been hit twice in this particular situation, and have only lived in St. Paul for two years.

  • David Russell

    The Twin Cities has an incredible pedestrian system. We had the first “indoor sidewalks” along the downtown skywalks. In addition, there are plenty of bike lanes with proposed new routes all the time.

    The trouble with safety is the competition between pedestrian and vehicle. I biked every where, all year ‘round for many years. Experiencing first hand the unspoken conflict between the two warring factions. (dramatic, I know but adds key emphasis!)

    One side is the driver who has neither the patience nor the respect for bikers/ pedestrians. The other side is the pedestrian who has zealously taken the “right of way” to “the right to be in the way”. This results in a mix of drivers not wanting to wait the 1.5 seconds it takes for a pedestrian to move safely through a cross walk or along a bike lane. The drivers roll the dice from the safety of their 1 ton steel cage vs. the exposed human frailty. I have lost that battle a couple of times. Which ended up with me on the ground and the driver wondering if I scratched their bumper. The odds are never in favor of the pedestrian.

    However, I understand why drivers disrespect bikers / pedestrians. Drive along Lyndale in uptown. Try to make a turn off Hennepin Ave. by Block-E. Navigate the U of M between classes. There, you will frustratingly be exposed to the hit-me-I-dare-you-I-have-the-right-of-way-and-the-power-off-the-law-on-my-side mentality (it’s an actual condition, I just looked it up) This mindset is expressed at the individual level all the way to large groups like Critical Mass.

    The safety of pedestrians is reliant on both the drivers and the pedestrian. The driver needs to return to giving the right of way to pedestrians and not risk injuring some one because they do not want to wait 2 seconds longer at an intersection. The pedestrians need to stop being self righteous and flippant about what they deserve.

  • David Spawn

    Overall, I feel the Cities are pedestrian friendly. However, I spent the first 25 years of my life walking most everywhere in Philadelphia as my family didn’t own a car and never had any incidents with cars. It was only after moving to Minneapolis in my late 30s that I was struck by a vehicle while crossing Hennepin Avenue. I am constantly amazed at the lack of awareness of drivers leaving parking lots and always make sure to give them plenty of leeway.

  • Camille

    I live in Woodbury, almost 1 mile from my kids’ school. We live too close for them to be eligible for a bus, and I would love to have them walk to school most of the time. Unfortunately, there are no sidewalks most of the way there which means they need to walk on people’s lawns or in the street – neither option works well in the winter. So I drop them off at school 1/2 hour before school starts while on my way to work, and my husband picks them up 45 minutes after school while on the way home from work. Not healthy, not convenient, but safe.

  • I do not feel safe as a pedestrian in St. Paul. Have you ever tried to cross University or Snelling Aves. at a non-metered marked crosswalk? You are taking your life in your hands every time you try to cross.

    Even crossing at stop lights is not without danger. An example: Minnehaha and Snelling, a no-turn-on-red intersection. Cars routinely block the crosswalk and frequently ignore the no-turn-on-red, which was installed in response of a 10-year old in the crosswalk on green, killed by a car turning on red. There is zero enforcement here and everywhere, no wonder traffic laws are disregarded.

  • Randy Moss’ Traffic Cop

    I look both ways and am mindful that there are likely to be more texters, drinkers and multitaskers than ever, likely to take liberties with red lights. Consider every vehicle as if it’s targeting you.

  • Jim Gust

    I live in a third ring suburb and find that the most dangerous place for pedestrians is the parking lot immediately outside a restaurant. One guy sped past the door and almost took my wife out. He rolled down his window and joked,” I almost got you that time.” Not amused by her close call, she said plainly, “You need to slow down. This is a parking lot, not a raceway.” He responded with a dismissive wave and sped away on his hunt for that illusive parking spot. We entered our car, backed out of our space, and began to drive past the doorway. There in front of our car “Mr. Entitled” stepped. Lucky for him, I was driving, not my wife.

  • Leo Sanders

    No. I often assert my pedestrian right of way ready to jump when treated as an “annoyance” to traffic. Minneapolis drivers seem largely oblivious to pedestrians and basic traffic law. I’m surprised when visiting out of state to find 4 lanes of traffic yield when I approach a crosswalk.

  • Pat

    Generally, yes. However, I do NOT feel so safe crossing Hwy 61 at Lower Afton Rd when getting off my Park n Ride bus in the evening. The Park n Ride lot is on the east side of Hwy 61, and the stop where we’re dropped off is on the west side. There is a traffic light; however, it is a very long one. Especially in the fall and winter, when standing in the dark, exposed to the elements, waiting for the Walk signal, many riders get anxious and cross when they can. This alone is dangerous; however, even when we have the Walk signal, the cars coming from the Lower Afton Rd are turning south, so we have to watch out for them. Cars also run the light occasionally. In addition, sometimes we’re crossing on icy areas, and then climbing over snow banks to get to the side walk. I feel MTCO should have the park n ride bus drop us off at our lot…..before a tragedy occurs.

  • Thomas

    I do feel safe; my mindfulness however is between driving (least) and biking (most).

    I am concerned that we would be considered safest in an area where there are many near misses and drivers that don’t know how to be a pedestrian. Since the vast majority of twin citians don’t know how to be a “pedestrian”, walking more than from the parking lot to the building, I would say that experience could increase safety even more (give drivers a reason & opportunity to be a pedestrian regularly).

    In the city, I would say this is a quality of life issue: we have a distinct population that chooses not to follow pedestrian responsibilities and make their own rules, stopping traffic to cross, starting to walk on a red after hanging out at the green, and jaywalking in ways that are unsafe to them and the traffic.

  • Nom Plum

    Outside the crosswalk, but on a similar theme. In addition to, or in place of, texting/talking while driving laws, why not increase enforcement of turn signal laws.

    Some drivers do not have a hand to operate their turn signal because their hands are occupied by their mobile device. No turn signal then becomes a habit, and some drivers forget to signal most days.

    Visualize using your turn signal and let

    Minnesota Statutes, Sec. 169.19, subd.5

    be your incentive to do so.

    Minnesota Statutes, Sec. 169.19, subd.5

    Signal to turn.

    A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

  • Liz

    My Mom was hit by a young driver crossing Ford Parkway with a green light in a crosswalk yesterday. Aside from a huge gash in her head, a banged up knee and multiple fractured ribs she is OK. The driver “didn’t see her” in the middle of the day. No, I do not think crosswalks are safe and I think city drivers are too distracted.

  • Chris Bell

    As a person who is blind and uses a guide dog, I do not feel safe walking in either St. Paul, Minneapolis or in the first ring suburb where I live. the Metropolitan area is chock full of diagonal curb ramps which lead my dog and I out into on-coming traffic. Often these curb ramps are not even tied into a striped crosswalk which my dog would recognize and obey. Second, drivers frequently do not watch where they are going. this is particularly problematic with right-turn-on-red when they are looking left and turning right. Also, many drivers do not come to a full stop at stop signs or even at red lights. Nationally, according to studies I have read, 47% of drivers do not come to a full stop at a red light or stop sign so this is not just a Twin cities problem. Last night, a sighted friend and I were riding my tandem bike. We had lights on our bike, front and back, as well as helmets with front and back lights and reflective clothing, so we were quite visible. We saw two cars blithely run stop signs and one of them almost hit us. This was after 7:30 p.m. and one would hope drivers would be mindful it is dark out and harder to see other traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians. It would be far safer for pedestrians and bicyclists if we devoted more resources for greater traffic enforcement with stiffer fines for negligent driving and failure to stop violations than it would be to spend scarce dollars on programs for new “pedestrian plans.” I am not opposed to policies like “Complete Streets” or “pedestrian planning.” Indeed, I wholeheartedly endorse them. But I think dollar for dollar we won’t be safe until drivers pay a stiff price if they do not come to a full stop when required by law to do so. The same goes regarding enforcement of ordinances requiring businesses, homeowners and the cities to ensure snow and ice removal on the sidewalks and curb ramps. We absolutely cannot walk or bike during our winter season with all of the snow and ice we have to travel over. Curb ramps are packed with snow and ice from snow plows, which makes walking for blind persons during the winter months almost impossible.

  • dsr

    HELL NO! People drive crazy, they don’t care about anything! They don’t remember the rules of driving long after they get their licenses and nobody ever has to take the written test again! Even if they did, once they are on the road, it doesn’t matter! they do what they will and hope to get away with it! I don’t know how more people survive walking across streets these days and especially those riding bikes on the roads with buses and the crazy motorists! Your really are taking your life in your hands! There are an awful lot of people who just jaywalk and cross anywhere hoping to get across with their lives! It is really tragic when they drag children while jaywalking and running across traffic-hoping to survive! Some dont’ even look back! just assuming the motorist will stop or see them and they sometimes have children in tow! Amazing!

  • As a pedestrian in Minneapolis, I feel safe because I always look both ways before venturing into the wild unknown of Minnesota drivers.

  • Elizabeth T

    Wow – these comments are amazing.

    Safe as pedestrian? Yes.

    Safe as bicyclist? Hell, no!

    re: using turn signals:

    I have said this to many people who don’t believe me. People in Minneapolis use their turn signals SO MUCH MORE than in Michigan. I went back to Mich. this Summer. Yup – we’ve got it good here about that.

    I think any data including the skyways should be eliminated prior to assessing pedestrian safety here. They’re not pedestrians, they’re inside a building. (And using them prevents any businesses down on the ground for doing any business, but that’s a different point.)

    Also, in Michigan, people consider jaywalking a state-wide sport. Good lord, you should see East Lansing adjacent to Michigan State.

    Yes, I think more drivers are far more distracted with cell phones or being unfamiliar with driving down town. I have never feared for my life on foot here; I certainly have on a bike.

  • Bridget

    I used to think I was safe as a pedestrian. This summer as I trained for the Twin Cities Marathon and was out and about in the suburbs alot – I had so many near misses – from drivers not paying attention. And I always crossed streets at intersections and with the appropriate crossing signals….

  • Nita

    I moved away from Minneapolis to L.A. and then back to Minneapolis. I could not believe the STARK difference between the two cities in the way pedestrians are treated by drivers. In L.A. you just WALK across the street, people know to stop for your right of way. There are flashing crosswalks everywhere and I never EVER felt unsafe crossing streets. Drivers just stop, wait, and don’t complain. As an L.A. driver I did the same, always stopping for peds even if not in a crosswalk. It just seems like no big deal in L.A.

    In the Twin Cities, however, it’s totally different. I don’t feel safe at all as a pedestrian ANYWHERE – in downtown Minneapolis or small St. Paul neighborhoods. In addition to the already widely accepted knowledge that Minnesotans are the WORST drivers in the country, Twin Cities drivers are a strange mix of passive/aggressive people who seem to be half country mouse, half city mouse and think they’re above the law. When I’d start out across Snelling or Central, expecting cars to stop LIKE THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BY LAW, I couldn’t believe how many people wouldn’t, or would by SLAMMING on their brakes and then flipping me off and swearing and yelling – even if I hurried and gave them a thank-you wave!

    It must stem from the fact that 5 months out of the year, there are NO pedestrians because of the cold weather, so when there are, drivers in the TC either can’t figure out what they are (what is that biped out ambulating?) or get MIGHTY angry that they have to be slowed down in their RUSH to get home to shovel snow!

  • Nita

    Also, I knew I didn’t imagine this when two of my Twin Cities friends visited me in L.A. We were in the car, and I slowed down to stop for a pedestrian – and they both yelled “what are you DOING?” Like I was crazy. I said in slow, special English, “I’m STOPPING FOR A PEDESTRIAN, ever hear of it?” They were FLOORED to discover it’s law everywhere – and peds have right of way. These were both women in their late 30s, by the way.

  • Mary

    In general, I am safe as a pedestrian in the Twin Cities so long as I am defensive.

    I can’t and don’t assume that a car will see me or even be looking for me at an intersection or a blind exit like an alley way or the exit to a parking garage. I run across the street even when I have the light because cars will turn or surge ahead as soon as possible or honk at you for being slow. Crossing with groups of people is preferable because a car or group of cars is less likely to challenge a group of people crossing. I hesitate when my light turns green, because I know that if I went right away, I could put myself in the path of someone who is turning very late, and have been feet away from coming into the path of someone running a light. If cars are too far into the crosswalk, sometimes I don’t bother trying to cross (this is especially true in winter).

    The worse was crossing the 46th Street bridge and having a car roll into the crosswalk and into me, anticipating the light but not the group of people in front of it. It wasn’t until I banged on the guy’s hood with my fist that he and his passenger noticed they were running me over in slow motion.

    I’ve been very lucky not to be seriously injured, but it comes from keeping my eyes open and letting impatient people have their way.

  • Sarah

    I’ve been almost hit quite a few times. Invariably, the driver is looking at where cars might be coming from and are not checking in with where pedestrians might be coming from (eg: turning on to a one-way street). Sometimes they don’t even see that something might have happened if I hadn’t jumped out of the way. I give their car a slap with my hand, hoping to startle them into maybe paying more attention next time. With great power comes great responsibility and giant metal boxes=great power.

  • Anne

    For the most part I feel safe crossing at intersections with stoplights. However, the traffic on our short section of 46th Street East in Minneapolis drives as if there is no speed limit. This leaves a pedestrian-commuter like me feeling a bit threatened by both the lack of concern drivers show for my neighborhood’s residents and specifically for the many children who play near and in our streets. It’s most safe to stick to the walking paths in our neighborhood, blessedly free of dangerous, distracted and thoughtless car drivers.

  • Erica Schiebel

    I feel safe, but often drive down near the U of M campus. People there tend to jump in the street with no regards for traffic lights or crosswalks. Obviously they must feel safe too!

  • Katie Parke-Reimer

    I assume cars don’t see me. If I didn’t take this attitude I would have been creamed by a UPS truck yesterday, although it was during daylight, and I had bright colors on. I worry about kids, especially the way cars plow though alleys and don’t stop before the alley intersects with the sidewalk.

  • Carolyn

    I do not feel safe as a pedestrian or a cyclist, and try to walk and ride in a very defensive way.

    In the 20 years I have lived here, I have:

    – witnessed one pedestrian hit by a vehicle in broad daylight in a crosswalk in DT Mpls. Thankfully only very minor injuries.

    – been one of first people to arrive after a pedestrian was hit at dusk jaywalking on 46th Ave in S Mpls – with much more serious injuries.

    -witnessed a cyclist hit by an SUV at an intersection near the RNC Convention in broad daylight. The cyclist had the right of way going forward, and the driver made a turn and hit the cyclist. The cyclist had a helmet on, which cracked in 3 pieces . The rider suffered a seizure on site, but recovered well.

    My husband is a physician and was with me on these three occasions and served as a first responder each time, and visited the cyclist/SUV victim in the hospital afterward, and knows the cyclist did fine.

    Last week, riding to preschool in broad daylight with my daughter on a tagalong behind me, I wrenched my back dodging a speeding car. The car passed us from behind, just at the point where a car was parked in the other direction, and HUGE potholes lined my side of the street. I was on Edmund Blvd, a narrow road which parallels W River Road, and I took it, because I was obeying the signs declaring the new bike trail closed for construction. The driver was driving at least 40MPH on this curving narrow street, and we nearly wiped out trying to get out of the way .

    It is very easy for drivers to be inattentive, and I have come to assume that’s the case, but even so, it can very hard to get out of the way.

    It’s frightening to think that our city is one of the best in terms of pedestrian safety.

  • Jean in Minneapolis

    I do not feel safe since an incident 3 weeks ago reminded me how much pedestrians are at the mercy of the attentiveness of drivers. My husband was hit by a car crossing with the light, with the walk sign, in a marked crosswalk while walking to work in St. Paul on an early, dark and rainy morning. Two vehicles made left turns on red into a one way street. The first, a large vehicle going quite fast, missed my husband by inches, thank heavens. The second one hit him a a slow rate of speed (again I am thankful for that), stopped and watched my husband hobble on to the sidewalk, and left the scene without even bothering to roll down his window and ask if he was okay! Yes, a hit and run. My husband’s knee, though not broken, was damaged somewhat and we can only hope there is no permanent residual damage to it. It is still sore and tender and he has pain with it.

    So no, I do not feel safe as a pedestrian. Until people start taking their responsibility behind the wheel of a car seriously and remember the severe consequences for others if they make a mistake, we won’t be safe. Until people stop putting their personal rushing ahead of all else, we won’t be safe. Until people stop multi-tasking behind the wheel of a car and put down their cell phones, we will none of us be safe. Pedestrian bodies are soft and fragile. Cars and trucks are large and hard. Pedestrians don’t stand a chance.

  • Jo Taliaferro

    I feel as safe as one can in a place where cars rule and pedestrians drool! I use a dog guide and I’m not afraid to go places on my own. Having said that, I do not assume that drivers are obeying the laws because the laws for drivers are not enforced. I would not rank the Twin Cities as the safest in the nation because safety is a “feeling” not something an engineer can evaluate. If Complete Streets becomes a statewide policy I will at least be assured that streets, walkways, bicycle paths and other walkways will be constructed in such a way that they are user-friendly to all people no matter their age or ability. Accessible Pedestrian Signals are a must around the community as is obedience to Public Right of Way guidelines. When the state, its cities and it it counties figure out who’s in charge of what and can develop some uniformity in design and construction of the places where we walk, I will feel safer.

  • Sue

    No, I do not feel safe as a pedestrian in Saint Paul. Motorists seem to have the attitude that the road belongs to them and pedestrians and bicyclists ought to get our of their way. And when a pedestrian or bicyclist is hit by a motorist, often times the police report it as simply an accident or the fault lies with the ped or bicyclist. My sister was hit and killed by a motorist and the motorist never even received as much as a ticket for hitting a person in a crosswalk. The guy didn’t even have a valid driver’s license, but the police, without other witnesses, took the motorist’s account of what happened. It is a disgrace that laws that are there for the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists are not enforced by police.

  • Nick Gardner

    No. I am unhappy with pedestrian signals that do not give you a walk signal, even when traffic is proceeding in the same direction as you, unless you arrive well in advance and press the button. It is only in recent years I have seen this, and it effectively demotes and disrespects pedestrians. I am surely not the only one who crosses assertively.

  • jim

    yes. everyone should take the time to read the state law. many seem to confuse mn. with oregon.

  • Safe as a ped? Hell no. The drivers in this state completely ignore crosswalks – drivers DO know about unmarked crosswalks and the law, right?

    I just got back from walking around Rome whose drivers have the reputation for being a bit “aggressive” and guess what?

    They actually STOP for people at crosswalks. I mean ALL the time.

    I figure it’s due to the Roman drivers not being distracted by their mobile phones, cheeseburgers, or putting on their make-up/shaving.

  • My 6 year old son Diego was killed at 3932 Cedar Ave So in 2002 and the city of minneapolis has refused to acknowledge this accident and horrible death. You can draw your own conclusions.

  • Tai Koma

    In general, yes. but I’d feel safer if there were better street lighting and neighborhoods did a better job of getting rid of those who lurk at all hours on street corners.

    The single most dangerous intersection traffic-wise I’ve encountered that actually is set up for pedestrians, however, has to be on the U of M campus on the eastern side of the Washington Avenue Ramp. Cars turning left there FAIL to stop for pedestrians more often than ACTUALLY stop. They really should make that corner no left turns during high traffic hours, almost every time I’ve nearly been hit in Minneapolis it has been by an impatient U student failing to look before turning.

    Cars also need to look to their right before making a right turn on a red. I saw a group of three young women hit and knocked down on the corner of University and Dale by a driver who decided that since no cars were coming from the left, it was safe to turn right without looking, and drove right into them. And the police officer sitting right there did nothing about it.

  • christine

    Motorists have no choice but to be pedestrian friendly here. There are way too many oblivious people stepping out into the street, EXPECTING you to stop, indeed expecting you to be ABLE to stop. Wake up Minnesotans: car vs. soft pink body = dead.

  • Nita Mandanna

    I have walked everywhere my whole life and have always obeyed the walk signs. Minneapolis is not a city for walkers or bike riders. I was hit by a car in January while crossing Hennepin Ave two years ago. Drivers in this city consistently ignore the rights of walkers and bike riders on the street. Often they never even turn their head to look both ways.

  • Ray

    Pedestrians are invisible to motorists. Drivers seldom check sidewalks before pulling into the street from parkings lots, etc. I feel safer crossing when there are no cars to “trust” – I let them get out of my way before crossing streets. Cyclists are worse – once I was nearly hit crossing with the light by a cyclist who was running the red.

  • Sue Z.

    AMEN to all of the above. I lived at the intersection of E. Franklin & 26th Ave. S. for years and had too many close calls to not be terrified crossing. The city has simply not paid enough attention to pedestrian safety; there are too many right turn on red corners and traffic lights that start blinking at you to stop just a few seconds after you’ve entered the intersection. There’s absolutely no concern for the mobility impaired. Also, many cities have sound effects at intersections so that the blind have help crossing. I feel that we have a long way to go to truly support city walking.

  • Sylvia from Saint Paul

    No, I do not feel safe. If you say you do I assume you don’t walk a lot on the streets here.

    Drivers ignore cross walks, turn right without looking at whether pedestrians are there or not, ignore right of way of pedestrians etc

    University Ave in Saint Paul is an unsafe area to cross (esp. if there is “only” crosswalk and no traffic light present).

  • Steven Kinnunen

    Twin Cities pedestrians are at constant risk of death or dismemberment. Drivers continually encroach on crosswalks, and they invariably zip across sidewalks from driveways and parking lots without looking for oncoming pedestrians.

    Twin Cities drivers also run through stop signs as if the stop line were just at the point where the cross street begins. In fact, the stop line is behind the stop sign. Can you imagine?

    If I myself were not as agile as I am, I’d have been killed by careless drivers on any of 13 or 19 different occasions.

  • Dan

    I cross Robert Street on the West Side of Saint Paul almost daily. Cars invariably speed by without stopping for me while I wait in the crosswalk–3 feet from the curb.

    A perfect example occurred when pushing my grandson in a stroller and guiding my dog on a leash—everyone sped by. But when the St Paul motorcycle cop sped sped by without stopping–it showed me where priorities are in Saint Paul.

  • Barbara Harrison

    Minnesota is a state where the pedestrian must be defensive. Those of us who have grown up here know this; however, it is perilous for those who are new arrivals to the State.

    I think that the awareness of “crosswalks” is in its infancy here. Most pedestrians know this, while those who risk it may step out and get hit. On the east coast drivers all stop for those in a crosswalk, but this is a novel idea here.

    There needs to be more educations, better signage, and stiffer enforcement of pededstrian laws. Until then, let the pedestrian beware!

  • Bekki

    If the Twin Cities are the safest streets for pedestrians, then I feel awful for the rest of the country. Just minutes outside the city limits here, there are no sidewalks or streetlights, and cars have no sympathy or courtesy for a pedestrian trying to cross a busy street. Drivers drifting onto narrow shoulders are a constant danger to a person just trying to walk their dog.

  • Colin

    No, especially compared to cities like Seattle where pedestrian rights are enforced by police. Drivers in this state are unaware of the concept of crosswalks (marked or unmarked), which occur at EVERY road intersection. Pedestrians have the right of way at every crosswalk, unmarked or marked. Minnesota Statute 169.21 defines the rights and responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians, and should be common knowledge to everyone.

  • Lisa

    I think the Twin Cities are pretty poorly set up for walking. There are a lot of really wide streets with fast-moving traffic, even in our two downtowns, which likely discourage a lot of people from walking. If an intersection has zero accidents, it may be because no one wants to walk there. Are we “safest” because we’re really making it safe to walk, or are people just avoiding walking because so many of our intersections are unsafe and unpleasant?

  • Dob

    I do not feel safe. There is no equity in sharing space with vehicles. Drivers seem to drive as though they are entitled to drive where they feel, and at any speed they want. It is a selfish attitude that also includes speeding, ignoring crosswalk laws, blocking crosswalks, failing to look both ways before turning on a red light, running red lights, using bike lanes to pass traffic on the right, and making left turns at will with no regards for pedestrians crossing with the light. As a pedestrian, I feel that I am a target. Instead of slowing down, cars seem to speed up towards me as I cross, as if to let me know to hurry up and get out of their precious way.

    Law enforcement and driver education is to blame. There is little consequence for inattentive driving or violating traffic laws. Every year I see more bad driving, but have yet to see any car being pulled over. There is so much bad driving, that it appears to be the status quo and new drivers learn bad habits from their parents, so things are deteriorating on a large scale.

  • Keith

    I’d have to say mostly no. Health problems took my license a few years ago, so I walk every I need to go. I’ve worked in several different cities since becoming a full-time pedestrian. I would rate the Cities drivers as some of the least likely to look for pedestrians before turning across walkways. But, I am very impressed with the suburbs which design walkways that allow pedestrians to get around while avoiding roads.

  • Nancy

    I’ve often commented that if I have to predict my own death, I would guess it will happen at the corner of 24th and Hennepin involving a driver turning right on red while I’m crossing the street. I don’t know that the sidewalks in Minneapolis are any safer than anywhere else.

  • Amy

    It’s true that the twin cities are full of bad drivers. However, we all need to remember that many of us think it’s “everyone else”; we all need to make an effort to improve our driving as well!

  • Kaye

    I live in the uptown area and log at least 15 miles a week. I feel safe. My observation is that drivers are curteous and pay attention. I can think of very few times when that hasn’t been the case. Nothing is perfect and we all have to be observant and careful.


  • Kate J

    I’ve been taking the freeway more lately instead of surface streets because it’s so difficult to see pedestrians after dark, especially when they’re wearing dark clothes! I’m particularly concerned about Summit Avenue near St. Thomas. I slow way down, put the lights on bright and look for movement and it still seems dangerous. In the daylight, I can make eye contact and wave — both as a pedestrian and a driver.

  • Leslie 123

    We are always the subjects of these types of studies. Ones that tell us how exceptional we are. I think that the people behind them are playing some type of game with us.

    We have always been told how much more hard-working and good we are than the people from everywhere else. And it makes these simple people think that they can slack off to a ridiculous extent.

    When, in fact, we are not at all exceptional, except in their selfishness and stupidity.

    People are just as selfish arrogant and passive/aggressive behind the wheel as they are in every other arena.

    I too was hit in a crosswalk by a dentist who was not paying any attention. When he did notice me, I was on the hood of his car handing on by the windshield well. He stopped so I could climb off and then acted like it was nothing at all.

    I didn’t call the police immediately so nothing was done to him. It is a no-fault state with insurance so my insurance paid my bills.

    Just today in my condo parking lot someone in a big truck gunned it in reverse without looking and almost ran me down backing out of a parking space.

    About half of them are pure space cadets. And just that dangerous. But they all think of themselves exceptionally bright, hard-working and dependable. Just because the media keeps up the drumbeat for some reason that is hard to fathom.

    I drove in L.A. rush hour a couple of years ago and was scared to death because I had been told they are far worse. In fact they are far far better and more courteous drivers by far.

    So these studies strike me as very odd…

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  • Kayla Wiley

    I voted yes because I feel like if everyone is required to help in some way it will bring everyone together for a common purpose.

  • Colin Dunn

    I feel that we should not be required to commit to a year of national service. I think that it will hinder people’s abilities to get jobs out of college.

  • Grant Wethington

    I fell that we should not have to do a year of national service. For me I feel that it would put an individuals career on hold or hinder college students ability to find jobs.

  • Connor Blandford

    I feel that a person should not be required to do a year of national service. The reason for this is because i believe that a year is too long of a time to be forced to do something. Also being forced to do something by the government always should send up red flags and I believe this is not a necessity, an should not be required.

  • Bridget Dames

    I feel like this is a good idea in theory but it would cause too many problems. I believe one year would take away too much time in ones life. It could interfere with college, marriage or starting a family.

  • Andrew Wetzel

    I feel that a mandatory year of national service could help bridge the gap of the upper and lower classes but, I do not think that it would be fair to stop someone from living their life for a mandatory service. The whole idea sounds like it could end up like a Military draft.

  • Joshua Marlar

    A mandatory year of service would be taking away some freedom for a good service, so I vote yes because of the good reason, think of it, the average person live 70-80 years these days 1 of those years is miniscule compared to how long one lives.

  • leon nobles

    i voted yes because i think this ideal would work and it is a smart thing to happen. it would show how people feel in how they live when there in the service people can learn a lot from it.

  • Cody Ison

    a mandatory year of service should happen because it would bring the country closer and many people would experience different cultures. Plus you will be getting paid to do the service

  • Nikki Williams

    I voted no because I believe a mandatory year of service would potentially force people to put their life on hold, which is a problem with career determining things like college, for example.

  • Sam Brunner

    I voted no because I think that too many negative things outweigh the postive things such as it ould start a big controversy of who has to do it and the circmstances someone may have that they will be unable to join. I also think people need to go straight to college and shouldnt wait until and do this program.

  • Ian Lucke

    It should be a choice.

  • andrew kollmann

    i believe it would be a good idea for a year of service because it would help unify the country. however it she be permitted for students to do this after they graduate high school. that way there are not single mothers that cant go anywhere

  • Ben Roberts

    I think a year of service should be mandatory. If you look at Israel they have teens at 13 years old joining the military because it is a state law. I think that a year of service would help bring our nation together and also strengthen us in the long run.

  • shelby wilson

    i feel that people should be required to do some form of national service to their liking. this is because activities like this help improve the citizens of our nation.

  • Jacob Blumberg

    I think making one year of national service mandatory would be a mistake!
    A) Making it MANDATORY would cut back on people’s freedom, we should be able to choose what we want to do with OUR time.
    B) This may sound like a great idea, but not everyone is physically capable of doing such work, or not in a situation to leave home, IE: Watching kids, having to work, etc…

  • Jeremy Thomas

    I think that this is a good idea and that it should be mandatory, but implementation should be done carefully.