BLAINE, Minn. – (May 4, 2018) – The intersection of 85th Avenue and University Avenue is one of the more unique safety challenges in the north metro. With a higher than usual volume of pedestrians crossing this suburban roadway and vehicles having just left a freeway it can be a dangerous combination.
“We see an average of about one to two crashes a month at that location,” said Blaine Police Chief Brian Podany.
One to two crashes per month might seem high but other intersections in Blaine see a higher crash rate. However, with the unique nature of the intersection and the most recent pedestrian death late last month police are concerned and asking the public to be vigilant when walking or driving.
“It seems that the pedestrian crashes we have had there are usually with the pedestrian not following the walk signals…I think much like driving we are seeing a higher rate of distracted pedestrians,” said Podany.
It might seem like common sense, but with pedestrians crossing streets mid-block everyday instead of taking the extra steps to a crosswalk, police want to remind you do always use a crosswalk.
“Crosswalks are there for a reason…crosswalks are the location that drivers are expecting to see people,” said Podany.
At 85th and University the combination of the nearby transit hub, Northtown Mall, other retail buildings and apartment complexes make this a busy area for pedestrians and Podany wants people to continue to be multimodal commuters.
“We encourage people to get out and walk, ride their bikes…but also make sure you are following the rules of the road,” said Podany.
The investigation into the most recent fatal crash at this intersection is still ongoing and the official cause has yet to be determined. But, Podany want all those using the roadways to put down their devices and keep their eyes on the road.
“Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention,” said Podany.