Minneapolis Saint Paul ranked safest metro area for pedestrians

Minneapolis Saint Paul is the safest large metro area in the U.S. for pedestrians, according to a report released on Monday, Nov. 9. The report released by Transportation For America - a broad coalition of organizations seeking to align national, state and local transportation policies - credits Minneapolis Saint Paul with investing to build a well-developed network of sidewalks and crosswalks and having many people walking and bicycling.

The title " Dangerous by Design" reflects roadway systems in the cities ranking most dangerous in the study, where extremely wide roads were built in the 1950s to ‘70s for the speed of automobile traffic at the expense of pedestrian safety. Minneapolis, on the other hand, was developed before World War II as a classic "streetcar city" with a tight street grid, which makes it easy for people to get around by walking.

More than 92 percent of Minneapolis streets have sidewalks on both sides, resulting in nearly 1,800 miles of sidewalks in the city. Minneapolis also has an extensive parkway and trail system with 83 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails. There are more than 100 pedestrian/bicycle bridges, including three bridges over the Mississippi River, 18 bridges over freeways or limited access roadways, nine bridges over surface streets, five bridges over railroads, and many small bridges over creeks.

Minneapolis is home to the Milwaukee Avenue . And, there is still room for improvement. Despite being safer for pedestrians than all other metro areas in the nation, Minneapolis Saint Paul still suffered 35 pedestrian deaths in traffic crashes in 2007-2008.

For more Minneapolis pedestrian information and the complete pedestrian master plan, visit Walking in Minneapolis.

Nov. 10, 2009

Published Nov 10, 2009