Since the Sweet Streets road improvement projects began, much has changed in Richfield. Updates have been made all around the City through the mill and overlay project, the 66th Street Project, and more. These projects do more than create a better driving experience for motorists. They improve the experience of all forms of local transportation—walking, biking, and transit. The City of Richfield is striving to balance the needs of all road and sidewalk users. Whatever your method of transportation modes, our goal is to implement a complete and comprehensive plan that makes Richfield easy to navigate.
Speeding is a Problem
According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, impact speed is the determinant of whether a pedestrian is seriously injured or killed by a vehicle in an accident. This graph shows how impact speed correlates with the likelihood of serious injury. Please slow down and follow posted speed limits.
Stop Distracted Driving
Any time a driver’s attention is diverted from driving, the results can be deadly. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distracted driving caused 3477 deaths and 391,000 occurrences of injuries in 2015 alone.
Help stop accidents from happening by making driving your only focus while you are on the road. Thousands of accidents have been attributed to the inattention caused by driving while texting, using an auto navigation system, interacting with other passengers, or talking on the phone. Learn how you can increase safety for yourself and your family by visiting the NHTSA site.
Marked sharrow lanes and bicycle lanes alert everybody on the road that the street is to be shared by vehicles and bicyclists. Richfield has several areas with these markings to remind drivers to be keenly aware of the presence of cyclists and to take care when driving alongside or passing.
Be a Safe Sharrow Driver
You can prevent accidents by following a few common sense rules.
- Be patient when passing a bicyclist: Slow down and pass only when it’s safe. Allow clearance of at least three feet.
- Look before you merge: Check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
- Be on the lookout: Watch for and yield to bicyclists before making a turn.
- Use extra caution around young bicyclists: Children’s movements can be unpredictable.
- Be respectful. Don’t speed past a bicyclist to make an upcoming right turn. It’s easy to misjudge how fast bicyclists are traveling.
- Exit your vehicle safely. Look for bicyclists before opening your car door.
- Think before you honk. Honking may startle a bicyclist and cause a crash.
- Stay alert and avoid distracted driving. Put away mobile devices, food, and makeup.
By now, you’ve probably experienced driving through a roundabout in Richfield or elsewhere. If you felt cautious, the roundabout was working. These specially designed circular intersections work by slowing driver speeds and reducing conflict points. They allow for easy decision-making and movement without bringing traffic to a standstill.
Roundabouts have been demonstrated to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents in busy intersections. Drivers have more time to judge and react.
Older and beginner drivers find intersections safer to navigate. Even pedestrians are safer.
The benefits of Richfield’s installation of roundabouts are many. Because traffic is always on the move there is less delay for everyone. Traffic capacity in the intersection is increased 30 to 50%. Fewer stops and starts means less noise for neighbors and a reduction of fuel use and pollution. They’re cost effective too, because there is no signal equipment to install and repair.
If you want more information about how to drive safely through single and multi-lane roundabouts, check out this video from the Minnesota Local Road Research Board – “Navigating a Single-Lane Roundabout”.