What’s broken?

A close-up on crosswalks

There are close to 4,000 pedestrian crosswalks in Minneapolis, but some residents complain that many of the white-striped pathways are fading away.

“Major intersections still have some visible markings, but pedestrians at most intersections are at the mercy of motorists,” wrote Terry Carlson in a note to the Southwest Journal. “Every intersection with a stop sign or signal should have clearly marked pedestrian crosswalks.”

In the past, the city had maintained a once-a-year routine in which every Minneapolis crosswalk was refreshed with a new coat of paint. However, that task has become more difficult with the budget cuts of the last few years, said Traffic Operations Engineer Steve Mosing.

“We get close but can’t quite do them all,” said Mosing, who estimated that the city has been able to repaint 80–90 percent of its crosswalks every year.

The city repaints crosswalks throughout the spring, summer and fall, but the new paint fades quickly once winter season arrives, according to Mosing. Normal traffic wear and tear in combination with ice, snow, and salt all contribute to the deterioration of pavement markings.

“Spring is really when we get the notices from the citizens,” Mosing said.

Citizens that have concerns about a particular crosswalk should dial 311 and file a request with the Traffic Division of Public Works. The division receives about 3,000 traffic-related requests per year, investigating all of them and taking action on one-third.

If you see something broken on the streets, or spot some other nuisance issue in the neighborhoods that needs to be resolved, please let us know. We’ll spotlight the problem in the newspaper and at www.southwestjournal.com. We’ll work to get it fixed and identify who is responsible for addressing the problem.

Reach us by e-mail at smckenzie@mnpubs.com, via fax at 825-0929, or by mail to 1115 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55403.