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Letter - You can make 3rd Avenue safer

To the editor:

We live in a motorized society where being a pedestrian can be risky. This is particularly the case when it comes to a busy, five-lane stretch of roadway, 3rd Avenue in Alexandria.

You may have noticed green, stop light-shaped signs lining the roadway along 3rd Avenue asking drivers to stop for pedestrians. While these signs are directly meant for drivers, measures should also be taken to remind pedestrians of the rules for travel by foot. After all, it takes a tandem effort by drivers and pedestrians to make the roadway safe and user friendly for everyone.

Pedestrians, do your part. Show vehicles that you are serious about crossing the roadway by making a motion to enter the street. When the lane in front of you clears of traffic, just one foot into the crosswalk will clearly show your intent to cross.

Minnesota law requires vehicles to stop for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk or an intersection with no marked crosswalk, where there are no traffic control signals present. Don't expect a courtesy stop by a driver if you don't make a motion to enter the roadway. Don't expect law enforcement to ticket a driver for not stopping for you unless you have made that all important motion to enter the roadway.

Remember to use crosswalks where available - 3rd Avenue is chock-full of marked cross walks. Use them. Darting out into traffic mid-block is illegal and dangerous.

With the help of drivers and pedestrians we can make 3rd Avenue a safer place to cross by foot.

Jessica Peterson

Active Living Douglas County

Alexandria, MN