Help ease downtown traffic by not “blocking the box”

Keeping intersections clear helps keep traffic moving during Super Bowl events

With Super Bowl Sunday just a week away, there will be a lot more visitors in downtown Minneapolis. Increased visitors along with street closures for Super Bowl events will increase traffic congestion, particularly during the morning and evening rush hours. The City of Minneapolis is taking several steps to lessen the impact to drivers. While Minneapolis does its part, drivers can play a critical role in reducing delays.

Don’t block intersections

The most important thing drivers can do to lessen traffic congestion is to not drive into an intersection when there is not enough room to make it completely through during a green light. Drivers who do this are “blocking the box,” which is against Minnesota law. When the traffic signals change, vehicles blocking the box keep cross traffic from moving, stopping traffic in both directions.

Drivers should make sure there is enough room to completely cross a street before entering an intersection. This includes not blocking crosswalks to allow safe passage for pedestrians.  Being patient and sometimes waiting for the next green light will significantly improve traffic flow for everyone.

Obey traffic control agents

Traffic control agents are on the streets throughout downtown Minneapolis at peak driving times. The City provides them as a service to drivers and commuters, and they’re currently helping ease congestion during Super Bowl events. According to Minnesota law, instructions given by these agents must be followed by all drivers, and their direction overrides all traffic signals and signs.

Traffic control agents will be out at key intersections to keep traffic moving by making sure cars aren’t stopping in the middle of intersections but agents can’t be at every corner. That’s why it’s important that drivers pay attention to traffic, drive carefully and make sure they aren’t blocking the intersection.

Along with obeying traffic control agents, drivers must do their part to help keep those agents safe. Directing traffic is a dangerous job. It requires traffic control agents to be literally in the middle of the street, and they’re out there when traffic is at its worst. Everyone driving in downtown Minneapolis needs to be aware that agents could be in the middle of intersections.

Published Jan 28, 2018



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