Letter: Robert Street isn’t pedestrian friendly

To the editor:

There is a long-term Robert Street Improvement Plan (RSIP) in West St. Paul that will be putting medians down the center, but only one stoplight and one additional crosswalk is included at Crusader Avenue and Robert Street (by Petco and Baker’s Square.)

Apparently, crosswalks can only be in place at stop-lighted intersections.  From Butler Avenue to East Mendota Road, because of strip malls and large, long buildings, there are fewer streets that go across Robert Street east and west, and thus there are fewer opportunities for intersection crosswalks.  Many stop-lighted intersections are about four blocks apart.  On occasion I see pedestrians dashing across Robert Street mid-block, which is, of course, unsafe.

In our Minnesota weather of heat, freezing cold, snow, slippery sidewalks and rain, walking long blocks to get to one side or the other can be a challenge especially with children and shopping bags and for disabled citizens.  Was the convenience of pedestrians considered in the RSIP?

Safety is always the first consideration, but why couldn’t there be push-button operated, base-street strip lighting, overhead lights and signs at new crosswalks between intersections?  The flow of traffic would stop only if there were pedestrians triggering the lights.  Certainly other cities must have solved this problem.

Naomi Lifejoy
Mendota Heights


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