State law: Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswalks

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
hiawather
Metrodome
Posts: 55
Joined: February 28th, 2017, 2:10 pm

State law: Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswalks

Postby hiawather » June 10th, 2019, 1:53 pm

Have you ever tried to follow this state law? I have. In fact, I've been especially diligent in the past several months. Here's what I have experienced:

[*]I'm quite alone following this law. Drivers behind me get confused and angry at me for stopping for pedestrians
[*]Pedestrians get angry with me for following this law. Many times I've been impatiently waved at to keep moving...by pedestrians! I get it: they assume nobody else will follow the law and will simply go around me and hit the pedestrian that I have stopped for
[*]As a pedestrian, I tried to cross Minnehaha Avenue at 43rd street. Though I was standing quite clearly and visibly at the crosswalk, I had to wait nearly three minutes to cross, making eye contact with pretty much every driver who blew right by me. I'm one of those weirdos who take such things seriously and get angry at the entitlement of drivers, particularly when the auto-erotic unimodalists constantly complain about how bicyclists are law breakers.

Obviously the law is not followed, nor is it enforced.

I'm curious what people think of the signs in St. Paul that point out this state law...it's honestly how I first got to know about it. I would really like to see similar signs on Minnehaha now that it's been resurfaced and had the bump-outs added. Doing the latter and not enforcing/advertising the state law requiring motorists to stop is exactly the kind of half-measure that makes me fume. It seems like so much that we do in the Twin Cities are half-measures: at-grade rather than separated grade mass transit; painted stripes rather than safe bike lanes; building Blue Line stations along that pedestrian moat known as Hiawatha Avenue, necessitating crowds of jaywalkers on a four lane divided throughway. I know it has a lot to do with unimodalists who have fought funding for anything that doesn't service their automobiles...I wonder if they are winning the long-term battle by crippling multi-modal transportation in this manner.

What would happen if a significant police presence were occasionally...present...solely to ticket this infraction? I suspect that would give the law some visibility.

DanPatchToget
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 663
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: State law: Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswal

Postby DanPatchToget » June 10th, 2019, 2:27 pm

I’ve had this problem numerous times in Bloomington as a driver, pedestrian, and biker. Those RRFB crossings, while an upgrade over just a sign or no sign, is still easily ignored. Last week I was driving east on Old Shakopee and a pedestrian activated the RRFBs. I stop, a couple cars going westbound flew past but the people behind them stopped. Suddenly a big pickup truck with a trailer going west slams on the brakes and has to swerve into the oncoming lane because he didn’t have enough distance to stop and obviously wasn’t paying attention to the flashing lights. If I had been in the left lane I would’ve been hit head on, and if that pedestrian had walked past the stopped cars she would’ve been fatally hit.

the other scott
City Center
Posts: 29
Joined: August 10th, 2012, 10:29 am

Re: State law: Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswal

Postby the other scott » June 10th, 2019, 2:39 pm

There needs to be a massive re-education of drivers and pedestrians in this state. A number of years ago in my hometown of Cambridge, there was an effort to get motorists to stop for pedestrians on Main Street. While I did not sit and observe, I do remember driving through town and being very surprised that cars were actually stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks. This rarely happened when I was growing up there. Maybe it's easier to accomplish in a small town because word can get around and you might recognize the people in the crosswalk.

Multimodal
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 667
Joined: March 4th, 2016, 7:55 am
Location: Oh, no, the burbs!

Re: State law: Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswal

Postby Multimodal » June 10th, 2019, 2:39 pm

“Enforcement” is usually a basic tenet of every city’s bike plan, yet it is never done.

xandrex
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1358
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: State law: Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswal

Postby xandrex » June 10th, 2019, 2:42 pm

hiawather wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 1:53 pm
What would happen if a significant police presence were occasionally...present...solely to ticket this infraction? I suspect that would give the law some visibility.
I believe St. Paul does this every year at strategic intersections. I know they did at one of the intersections downtown near Rice Park (it was last summer or fall, I believe?).

bubzki2
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 735
Joined: September 19th, 2012, 5:38 pm
Location: Snelling-Hamline

Re: State law: Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswal

Postby bubzki2 » June 10th, 2019, 3:12 pm

xandrex wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 2:42 pm
hiawather wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 1:53 pm
What would happen if a significant police presence were occasionally...present...solely to ticket this infraction? I suspect that would give the law some visibility.
I believe St. Paul does this every year at strategic intersections. I know they did at one of the intersections downtown near Rice Park (it was last summer or fall, I believe?).
"Stop For Me" is a great program run by the city of Saint Paul. Plainclothes officer and volunteers cross busy streets at selected time. Flagrant law-breakers are ticketed or warned en masse. Very smart and well-run program. Fun to volunteer for these because you get to see actual enforcement.

hiawather
Metrodome
Posts: 55
Joined: February 28th, 2017, 2:10 pm

Re: State law: Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswal

Postby hiawather » June 11th, 2019, 7:10 am

bubzki2 wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 3:12 pm
xandrex wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 2:42 pm
hiawather wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 1:53 pm
What would happen if a significant police presence were occasionally...present...solely to ticket this infraction? I suspect that would give the law some visibility.
I believe St. Paul does this every year at strategic intersections. I know they did at one of the intersections downtown near Rice Park (it was last summer or fall, I believe?).
"Stop For Me" is a great program run by the city of Saint Paul. Plainclothes officer and volunteers cross busy streets at selected time. Flagrant law-breakers are ticketed or warned en masse. Very smart and well-run program. Fun to volunteer for these because you get to see actual enforcement.
I like this idea. I've already reached out to Andrew Johnson with my complaint but would like to help drive a solution. I intend to bring this to the Longfellow Community Council as well.

If possible, can we focus our thoughts on what is the most pragmatic approach that an engaged citizen can pursue to help alleviate the problem in this neighborhood? I totally agree with the 're-education' comment (creepy as the word may sound...), people's assumptions need to change if we want transit, bicycling and walking to truly work.


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