Brooklyn Center Addresses Median Safety
Brooklyn Center officials are working to address median safety. They researched 12 high-traffic intersections, mostly along Brooklyn Boulevard and Bass Lake Road. Public safety officials found some safety concerns, especially when it comes to panhandling on busy Brooklyn Boulevard.
“You’ve got traffic on both sides of you, sometimes 40 miles [per hour] plus,” said Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon. “It’s not safe, especially on a narrow median.”
Gannon says people in the median are a distraction for drivers as well as pedestrians. CCX News cameras witnessed some pedestrians briefly using the median while crossing the road.
Median Safety Crash Statistics
There were seven pedestrian-vs.-vehicle accidents in Brooklyn Center last year. Five of those crashes happened along Bass Lake Road and Brooklyn Boulevard. Gannon is trying to amend an ordinance that could lead to a misdemeanor for repeated violations.
“I don’t care if you’re holding up a sign that says I love cops, you’re still not able to be at that median,” said Gannon.
The misdemeanor would come into play if that person has violated the ordinance within 12 months of the first of two prior median violations.
Proposed Changes Before City Council
If the ordinance is changed, people would not be allowed on certain medians within 300 feet of a high traffic intersection. The only exception would be if the person is in the process of legally crossing the road. And if a person stands in a median for more than two cycles of a light, they could be cited.
City officials say medians were created as a safe haven for pedestrians to make it across a street. At some point, the safety aspect has changed and the medians are often used for panhandling, officials said.
“It’s not made to accommodate a person standing there, for hours at a time,” said Gannon.
A public hearing and second reading of the ordinance will take place June 25.