Painting for a safe crossing

Melissa Hoffmann and Steve Schneider paint the temporary curb cuts at 1st. North and Garden Street.

NEW ULM — On Monday, members of Heart of New Ulm, Safe Routes to School and other members of the Coalition for Active Safe and Healthy Streets (CASHS) helped install and paint the new safety features at 1st North and Garden Streets.

The safety feature includes new stripes and delineators to create temporary curb extensions and pedestrian islands on the Garden Street intersection across from the Harman Park warming house.

The goal of the demonstration project is to help residents experience how curb extensions help slow traffic and make it safer for all who use Harman Park and who walk or bike in the area.

The city received a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to provide technical assistance and materials for the demonstration project. CASHS submitted the grant on behalf of the city. MnDOT approved the grant request, viewing it as a top priority.

MnDOT representative Mitch Kiecker said the demonstration project was a highly rated project because it addressed safety needs. The Garden and 1st North intersection is seen as a difficult intersection to cross. Due to the location of a playground and athletic fields, it is crossed by many children.

Staff Photo by Clay Schuldt Monday morning, Members of Heart of New Ulm, Safe Routes to School and other members of the Coalition for Active Safe and Healthy Streets stripe the roadway near 1st N. and Gardent Street to create temporary curb cuts and pedestrian islands.

The safety features limit the amount of time a pedestrian is in the street’s lanes of traffic. The pedestrian island located between lanes makes it easier to check for oncoming traffic. Curb cuts and delineators narrow Garden Street, creating a traffic-calming measure.

Jen Maurer, facilitator for The Heart of New Ulm’s CASHS assisted in setting up the demonstration project and is excited to have it in place. She believes it would be a popular improvement.

“The feedback we have on this project is positive so far,” Maurer said. The intersection gets busy during the summer and this should alleviate safety concerns.

The demonstration project will remain in place through mid-October. If the demonstration is successful, the curb extensions could become permanent. Future improvements will be dependent on city approval and future federal roadway grants.


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