St. Paul launches pedestrian safety programby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Local leaders will gather in St. Paul this afternoon to kick off a week-long campaign aimed at encouraging pedestrian safety.
The Pedestrian Safety Education and Enforcement Campaign will target residents and businesses near Snelling Avenue North in St. Paul.
Officers with the St. Paul Police Department will be issuing tickets during the week to both motorists and pedestrians who fail to obey the state's crosswalk laws. Violations are misdemeanors, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $700 fine, or both.
At the kickoff event tonight, local leaders and community members will see how many cars stop when they attempt to cross Snelling Avenue N near Ashland Avenue -- a state highway and a neighborhood street.
Between June 2006 and June 2008, 454 pedestrians were struck by vehicles in St. Paul, according to St. Paul Smart Trips, a non-profit group that works to improve access and mobility around the city.
Officials encourage pedestrians to use common sense, follow signs and signals, and be responsible for their own safety.
Among those who are expected to attend the kickoff are: St. Paul City Council members Melvin Carter and Pat Harris; St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler; St. Paul Police Commander Colleen Luna; and Ramsey County commissioner Janice Rettman and Toni Carter.