With the recent accident at Highway 47 and Pederson Drive that resulted in the serious injury of two St. Francis Middle School students, there has been a renewed effort to improve safety at that crossing.
District leadership and city administration have been trying for over a decade to improve safety for pedestrians at the crossing. On Tuesday, November 27, St. Francis Area Schools Superintendent Troy Ferguson and St. Francis City Administrator Joe Kohlmann participated in a conference call that included MnDOT, Sen. Michelle Benson, Rep. Kurt Daudt and other officials regarding pedestrian safety.
"It was a very productive conversation and changes that can be made right away will be made," Ferguson said.
Already a sign advising drivers of their speed was installed on the pedestrian crossing sign. Officials are also considering reducing the speed as part of a short-term solution.
"These are efforts to improve safety immediately while long-term, permanent options are explored," Ferguson added.
The school district supports any effort to improve the safety of the intersection, but holds off on endorsing a specific plan at this time, trusting the experts to provide a long-term solution, whether that be a bridge, narrowing traffic to one lane, introducing a stoplight, building a roundabout or another solution that hasn't yet been proposed.
A rally to build further support for immediate change is planned for noon, Saturday, December 1 in the County Market parking lot. Organizer of the rally is Chris LaMotte, father of Anneliese LaMotte, one of the girls injured November 20. For more information regarding the rally, contact Chris at 612-369-0525.