Pedestrian safety

You can learn the rules for walking and rolling safely.

Walking laws and safety tips

Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility between motorists and pedestrians. Be considerate of other travelers, and always be prepared for others to make a mistake.

General walking tips

Walking safety laws

Street crossing tips

 

General walking safety tips

Person waiting between crosswalks in Mpls

Always do the following

  • Help drivers to see you. Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, and other obstacles before crossing a street.
  • Cross in well lit areas at night. Otherwise, wear brightly colored clothing or reflective materials.
    • Tip: Carrying a flashlight at night, or using your cell phone flashlight, can make you more visible to drivers. 
  • Watch out for vehicles which are backing up in parking lots, driveways, or on the street.
  • Walk on the sidewalk.
  • Walk facing vehicles when:
    • There is no sidewalk on either side of the street
    • The sidewalk is inaccessible
  • Look for backup lights and listen for vehicle noise.

 

Do not do the following

  • Walk after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
    • Drunk walking increases your chances of being struck.
  • Use cell phones or headphones when you are crossing a street. Keep distractions to a minimum.
  • Never run into the street. Proceed carefully when crossing.

 

Walking safety laws

Obey "Walk/Don’t Walk" signals

Pedestrian may only enter a signalized intersection when the "Walk" signal is shown. They may not enter a crosswalk with a flashing or steady "Don’t Walk" signal.

See the Minnesota signal law

Do not enter the crosswalk if approaching vehicles cannot stop

Motorists must stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. On the other hand, pedestrians may not enter a crosswalk if it's impossible for a driver to stop. The word "crosswalk" applies to both marked and unmarked areas where pedestrians can gain the right-of-way.

See the Minnesota Pedestrian law

Street crossing safety tips

Look both ways before crossing

Before crossing a street, scan in all directions. Look left, right, and then left again. Check for vehicles entering the roadway from a nearby intersections or a driveway. 

Crossing streets at marked or unmarked crosswalks

Marked crosswalks have

  • Pavement markings
  • Pedestrian warning signs, and/or
  • Flashing lights

An unmarked crosswalk is any intersection where crosswalks are not marked.

Mid-block crossing

If you choose to cross mid-block, you must yield to vehicles. This is, if it's an unmarked crossing. Mid-block crossings are illegal if there are traffic signals at both ends of the block.

Pay attention to drivers

When you're ready to cross a street

  • Make eye contact with vehicle drivers (if possible)
  • Pay attention to vehicle speed and noise
  • Always be prepared for a motorist who fails to yield the right-of-way

The law does not make motorists stop for a pedestrian waiting to enter a crosswalk.

If a motorist does stop:

Proceed cautiously to determine if other approaching vehicles are following suit.

If you're uncomfortable crossing while motorists are present

As an alternative, you can wave a stopped motorist on.

Watch for hidden vehicles

Look carefully for vehicles emerging from alleys and driveways. It's illegal for motorists to emerge without stopping before the sidewalk. Still, always be prepared for a vehicle which does not stop.

Vision Zero

Vision Zero is a movement for safe streets. The City has joined the national Vision Zero movement to end deaths and severe injuries on our streets.

Contact us

Chris Kartheiser

Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Interim

Public Works - Transportation Planning & Programming 

Phone

612-673-2544

Office hours

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Monday – Friday