It’s been a while since I’ve had to publish a “Fridley Hates Pedestrians” series. Maybe I’ve become complacent. Some road diets on county roads might actually come to fruition. In the meanwhile this happened:

Boy struck by SUV near Fridley Middle School

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I’m excited about the prospects of a safer Osborne Rd. For the record I am for the 3 lane conversion the most of the proposed options. If the county were to mill and overlay tomorrow, this is a great low/no cost way to drastically increase safety and accessibility.

However, I feel this particular study does not draw from other cities past experience well enough. At the study meeting it was mentioned that the city of Crystal lamented that they did not do the 3 lane option for the full length of the roadway. I see the same sort of trepidation here.

Road Speed

Why not lower the speed limit to 30MPH? Residents in attendance at the meeting were obviously concerned about the speed as they’re asking for more enforcement. The real answer to enforcement is self-enforcement and the road diet would provide that. But why not lower the speed limit to 30? The odds of a pedestrian fatality at 40MPH is two times of that at 30MPH – and lets face it, travelers on a 35MPH road are going to be driving 40MPH.

36th Ave in New Hope
36th Ave in New Hope

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No I don’t mean rename it, Fridley already has a Main St. which was probably named because of its proximity to the railroad.  But if you look at Mississippi St., it truly has the potential to be the main street of Fridley.

Located on it are: city hall, the police and fire department, Fridley’s library, the Fridley Historical Society museum, Hayes Elementary School, several churches, and a few home-based businesses.

Now the bad news: this STROAD is too fast and too wide to provide any value to the businesses and residents on or near it.  It is home to a dumpy strip-mall which is almost impossible to get to as a pedestrian. Mississippi St. could easily go on a road diet.

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I had the opportunity to represent my city’s “Active Transportation” group in the 2013 Fridley 49er Days parade. We were parading under the auspices of getting around Fridley using non-motorized transportation.

I was disappointed in the turnout of or group. We had some great volunteers from the Fridley Senior Program walking with signs and banners. However my family and neighbors were the only representatives on bicycles. So if I didn’t show up (or recruit my neighbors), the parade unit would have been almost non-existent.

I was starting to get the feeling that here in Fridley, we’re all still stuck in our cars and could care less about weirdos that walk to the store or ride bikes to work.

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Once the BNSF railroad passes over the south side of I-694 and expands into the vast Northtown Yard, you have but one option to cross it in Fridley City limits: the 44th Ave. Bridge.

I always had assumed that this bridge is in Columbia Heights, but it lies in Fridley proper. The notion sunk in when I saw a Fridley Police car staking out the bridge – presumably looking for speeders.

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