Pedestrian safety is a top priority when designing roads and trails throughout the city. With an increasing amount of distractions for both pedestrians and drivers, it is important to understand that it is everyone's responsibility to ensure pedestrian safety.
Laws Regarding Pedestrian Crossings
Minnesota Statute 169.21 Subd. 2a: Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk. The driver must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. This provision shall not apply under the conditions as otherwise provided in this subdivision.
- Wait for a gap in traffic. Drivers are not required to stop for pedestrians who are not in the roadway, and pedestrians are required to wait until gaps in traffic allow drivers to stop before entering the road.
- Increase visibility for yourself and for your children - Wear reflective and bright color clothing to make yourself more visible to drivers. Never assume drivers are able to see you.
- Avoid distractions - Just as distracted driving can be dangerous, it is important for pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings, especially prior to crossing a road.
- Use sidewalks and trails when they are available.
- Do not let your children play in the street.
- Minnesota Statute 169.21 requires vehicles to stop for pedestrians at any intersection crossing, regardless of whether crosswalk markings are present, until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped.
- Use extreme caution when passing any stopped or parked vehicle. Be sure the vehicle is not stopped for a pedestrian.
- Look both ways before turning. Drivers making a right turn should always look to their right see if a pedestrian is crossing.
At Traffic Signals
- Pedestrians are required to obey traffic signals.
- Always press the pedestrian push button prior to crossing and follow the direction from the pedestrian signal: walk or walking person symbol means you may begin crossing. Flashing don't walk or hand symbol means you may continue crossing if you have begun crossing, but do not start crossing. Steady don't walk or hand symbol means pedestrians should not be in the crosswalk.
- Drivers must always stop on red prior to the crosswalk and yield to any pedestrian in the crosswalk if turning right on red.
Providing safe and efficient travel for all pedestrians is a major goal for the City of Inver Grove Heights, as identified in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. As a part of this effort, the city strives to create safe and accessible pedestrian facilities. When street crossings are necessary, it is the city's goal to provide crossing locations and treatments that are as safe as possible.
Installing a crosswalk will not necessarily increase the safety for pedestrians crossing the roadway. A Federal Highway Administration study (PDF) showed that providing striped crosswalks is not always a safety treatment, and in some cases, results in more accidents between vehicles and pedestrians. The study showed that the pedestrian crash rate was up to four times higher at marked crosswalks than at unmarked crosswalks at similar traffic conditions. Crosswalk markings can create a false sense of security in a pedestrian, and markings do not necessarily result in higher compliance with vehicles stopping for pedestrians. Therefore, the city carefully reviews each request for crosswalks to determine if installing a crosswalk is appropriate for that intersection.
Request a Crosswalk
All requests for crosswalks on city roads should be made by completing the Traffic Control form. All crosswalk requests are reviewed by the City's Traffic Control Committee.
Crossing at Roundabouts
- Cross only at crosswalks, and always stay on the designated walkways.
- Never cross to the central island.
- Cross the roundabout one approach at a time. Use the median island as a halfway point where you can check for approaching traffic.
See more safety tips for roundabouts.