The project has many components to address safety at the Dean Parkway and Thomas Avenue intersections:
- Aging signal infrastructure will be replaced with new/additional signals to improve traffic signal visibility.
- An enhanced median along Lake Street to create a pedestrian refuge at the Dean/Bde Maka Ska crosswalk, as well as improved green space in the median
- Reducing the curb-to-curb crossing distance at Thomas Avenue
- Better alignment of left turn lanes from Lake Street onto Dean/Bde Maka Ska Parkway, improving visibility for drivers
- New left turn lane into the Bde Maka Ska North Parking Lot (across from Thomas Ave)
- Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), which are also an accessibility improvement
- ADA-compliant curb ramps
- Additional signalized crosswalks to allow crossing on any leg of either intersection.
- At the Dean Parkway intersection, there is currently only one painted crosswalk to cross Lake Street (on the east side of the intersection along the bike/walking trail). Our project will add a crosswalk and curb ramps on the other side of Dean Parkway/Bde Maka Ska Parkway, so you will be able to cross Lake Street using either side of Dean Parkway
- At the Thomas Avenue intersection, there is also only one crosswalk to cross Lake Street. The other side has a “no pedestrian” sign. Our project will add a crosswalk on the other side of Thomas Avenue to replace the “no pedestrian” sign, so you can cross Lake Street using either side of Thomas avenue.
Traffic patterns and signal timing will remain mostly the same after this project. Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) is being reviewed for implementation at the Thomas Ave intersection. (Leading Pedestrian Interval is a short period of time to allow pedestrians a “head start” into the intersection while the light is still red for all vehicles. We are looking at this type of signal timing throughout the city, including on projects such as these. The project will not change the total amount of time for pedestrians or vehicles.)
We will also be upgrading traffic “sensors” on the traffic signals at these intersections. This should hopefully allow the signals to operate more efficiently in response to the traffic at the intersection.
Additionally, Minneapolis is planning a citywide traffic signal retiming project in the coming years. Any observations from these intersections can definitely be taken into account when we develop those improvements.