Brooklyn Park works to improve intersections after deadly crashes

February 22, 2019 07:18 PM

Brooklyn Park is working to make its intersections safer for pedestrians. There have been three fatal crashes in the past four months.

Two of those people died close to Welcome Avenue and Brooklyn Boulevard


At the end of October, a 59-year-old man was hit and killed near the intersection. A 70-year-old woman was hit just a month and a half later in mid- December.

City officials told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS both people were crossing mid-block.

“It’s certainly something we want to address,” said Dan Ruiz, the public works director.

More from KSTP: 

1 killed in crash involving pedestrian in Brooklyn Park

59-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by driver in Brooklyn Park

He said they are working on community outreach to encourage pedestrian safety.

The city will also install two LED streetlights at the intersection this spring. Similar lights are already used at other intersections on Brooklyn Blvd.

The lights are expected to cost about $3,000, from the general operating fund.

“We don’t’ feel the lighting was a factor with this incident,” he said. “Folks want to take the closest route where they're going and it's just not safe at night crossing a busy street like that.”

He said, however, the lights will draw people to a safe place to cross and give drivers more visibility.

They plan to hold community meetings to further address pedestrian safety in the area. The date has not yet been set.

“We look at intersections and data to see where the most dangerous places are and then we put together plans to address that,” Ruiz said.

The Public Works Department’s strategic plan identified five intersections with the highest volume of crashes from 2014 to 2018. It also included safety improvements for each.

There were 178 crashes during that time period at Zane Avenue and Brooklyn Boulevard, just down the street from Welcome Avenue

The intersection at 85th Street and West Broadway Avenue saw 152 crashes, 85th Street and Zane Avenue saw 126 crashes and 85th Street and Noble Avenue saw 104 crashes.

Highway 252 at 85th Avenue was also included on the list. There were 133 crashes at that intersection over those four years.

There was a fatal crash last month, just a mile and a half away on Highway 252 near Brookdale Drive

Ruiz told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there will be safety improvements made there as the highway is converted to a freeway.

“Basically a bridge over the road so that pedestrians don’t have to cross the highway,” he said.

The project is still about four years away, according to Ruiz.

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Callan Gray

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