Minneapolis transportation leaders unveiled a three-year plan Tuesday to boost street safety with lower speed limits, new traffic enforcement officers, additional crosswalks and other roadway changes. Here are the plan’s biggest takeaways, traffic trends that motivated the proposals, and when residents could begin noticing different rules for getting around the city:
The number of people killed or seriously injured in traffic crashes in Minneapolis has gone up
Between the mid-2000s and 2013, the number of severe or deadly collisions on Minneapolis streets decreased, according to city data that transportation leaders shared with City Council members Tuesday. But in 2014, the trend reversed — cause by a spike in vehicle vs. pedestrian crashes specifically — and 2016 and 2017, the city saw the decade’s highest number of incidents in which someone on any mode suffered a serious injury. Last year alone, three people died walking in Minneapolis, and traffic engineers recorded more than 330 additional injuries among pedestrians.
“Those are not numbers,” said Ethan Fawley, of the city’s Public Works Department, which is leading the plan. “Those are lives — those are people, families forever impacted.”
The troubling trend is the reason for the plan, called Vision Zero, which is part of a nationwide initiative to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and injuries in its roughly 35 participating cities. Fawley and city staff spent the past two years compiling the data to create the draft proposal, which will guide how the city spends money on road safety improvements between 2020 and 2022.
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"Five takeaways from Minneapolis’ new plan to boost street safety"; By Jessica Lee; MinnPost; Sept 18, 2019