Scott County, along with Shakopee and the Shakopee School District, has heard our residents’ concerns about pedestrian safety along 17th Avenue (CH 16) and, in particular, near the schools along this roadway: Jackson Elementary, Shakopee High School, Sun Path Elementary, Shakopee Area Catholic Schools, and Eagle Creek Elementary. While the incident this week in which a Shakopee student sustained some minor cuts and bruises (and thankfully nothing more severe) near the high school could not have been prevented by a change in road or access design, we fully understand the need to preserve public safety throughout our community.
As such, Scott County will be implementing a pedestrian safety improvement project along CH 16 at the five schools along this roadway. The County will be constructing pedestrian-activated systems, that will include a combination of signs and flashing lights. Many people (drivers and pedestrians alike) think simply putting up signs and marking a crosswalk will improve safety, but a marked crossing alone does not always provide an increase in safety for a pedestrian. All too often, marked crossways alone instill a false sense of safety for both pedestrians and drivers. But because the new amenities will activated by pedestrians themselves, both drivers and walkers will be better alerted to their surroundings. But please, as always, be attentive, be aware, and be careful – safety is everyone’s responsibility.