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Pedestrian crossing demonstration project set up in Bemidji

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has set up a pedestrian demonstration project at the intersection of Bemidji Avenue and Sixth Street.

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A pedestrian demonstration project has been installed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation at the intersection of Bemidji Avenue and Sixth Street.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI — A pedestrian demonstration project has been installed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation at the intersection of Bemidji Avenue and Sixth Street in Bemidji.

The project consists of a temporary pedestrian refuge island and a crosswalk, and will be in place throughout the summer and into fall to examine potential solutions for pedestrians crossing the street at the location.

“Demonstration projects help us learn,” Jon Mason, MnDOT planning director said in a release. “We can experiment with potential solutions and evaluate them with real-time results.”

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A pedestrian demonstration project, which includes a refuge island and a crosswalk, has been installed at the intersection of Bemidji Avenue and Sixth Street.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

The Bemidji City Council agreed to the project in a session on June 6, with the hope that it would make pedestrian crossings safer, particularly during events at Library Park.

“A median refuge island at this location should really help people who walk and bike,” Mason explained. “It reduces the amount of time non-motorized users are exposed to traffic because they don’t have to cross all five lanes at once.”

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While the project is in place motorists traveling north on Bemidji Avenue will not be able to make a left turn onto Sixth Street, since the left turn lane is being used for the temporary pedestrian island.

The demonstration project will be in place through the fall and will be removed before winter. MnDOT is asking community members to try out the project and provide feedback.

For more information visit the project website or contact Jon Mason at jon.mason@state.mn.us or (218) 407-1917.

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