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Calls for Increased Safety at Mpls Intersection Following Pedestrian's Death

Updated: 02/17/2014 11:24 PM
Created: 02/17/2014 7:08 PM KSTP.com
By: Kate Renner

 Just five days after 25-year-old Caitlan Barton of Savage was hit and killed crossing the road, the west Minneapolis community came together to try to prevent another tragedy from happening.

Barton died after she was hit by a commercial truck at West Lake Street and Market Plaza, near Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Police say it appears Barton did nothing wrong.

People gathered Monday to remember Barton, but also to take action. They want to increase safety at the intersection, which is surrounded by businesses and restaurants.

As cars drive down Lake Street and Excelsior Avenue, pedestrians are used to making a run for it. "We've seen a lot of people just gun it through there," Erik Sande said.

Unfortunately Wednesday night, Barton didn't make it. She was leaving yoga class, where Sande works.

"She just really seemed to go after it, and she liked life a lot, and was really just a go-getter, Sande said.

According to her obituary, the graduate of Carlson School of Management was working as a product manager at Target.

On a sign near the tragic scene, friends calls her "amazing" and "awesome."

Newly-elected city council member Linea Palmisano talked with City of Minneapolis Public Works officials about the safety of the area the night of the crash.

"This is the only place in the city that I fight my toddler back into his car seat, to go six store fronts down. That's a problem, because we want a pedestrian friendly area," Palmisano said.

She says solutions range from better lighting to building better infrastructure. "We've looked at vertical access, so a bridge, we've also looked at tunnels," Palmisano said.

The next step will be working with Hennepin County on improving the area. For major infrastructure changes Hennepin County would need to lead the charge because these are county roads.

The commissioner for this area is stepping down in the next few months, so likely nothing will happen until after a special election in May.


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