Anyone who visits Minnesota State University, Mankato has most likely walked across the Stadium Road and Warren Street intersection between the university and the free parking lots. A study by SRF Consulting Group started April 1 has gathered data and created models of possible solutions to make that intersection safer and more efficient.
The university, the city of Mankato, Blue Earth County and the Mankato/North Mankato Area Planning Organization (MAPO) collaborated on the project.
SRF consultants aimed to collect student feedback and propose solutions. On Sept. 8, representatives from SRF came to MSU’s Centennial Student Union to get students’ input on possible temporary solutions for the intersection.
“What was driving it was MSU and faculty working with the city and county to study this issue of safety,” said Chris Brown, Transportation Planning Lead at SRF.
The engineering planning and design firm has partnered with universities before. Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D. currently uses the exclusive pedestrian phase model.
The exclusive pedestrian phase or the “diagonal crossing” shown in Alternative 2 was the most popular among students and staff during SRF’s visit to MSU. This option reduces crashes by 51% according to the federal highway administration.
The study portion will end in early November and then discussion regarding cost and construction will follow. The temporary solutions will likely cost $90,000-$100,000.
Abdur Rahman, student supervisor for facilities services at MSU, has been in this role for over four years and has first-hand experience directing traffic during special events such as commencement.
“As a traffic control we have to take care of both sides, the pedestrians and the cars or buses that need to get to where they’re going,” Rahman said.
He favored model Alternative 1B as it would take care of both parties and create a left lane for buses so cars are still able to pass by without delay.
As for permanent models SRF suggested two designs,including an underground tunnel and pedestrian bridge. However, these wouldn’t be in the works until the future and would likely cost millions.
Header Photo: Above is a diagram of different models that are temporary solutions to the intersection between Warren Street and Stadium Road. (Julia Barton/The Reporter)
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