Pedestrians In Canal Park: There Are Traffic Laws For You Too – Please Follow Them!
Anyone who has been in a vehicle in Canal Park has seen it happen - someone darts out between two cars into traffic without looking, forcing drivers to lock up their brakes. Often the pedestrian gives an evil glare to the driver before finishing their walk across the street, while other times the pedestrian walks blissfully unaware of the fact they nearly became a hood ornament.
There is a common thought that pedestrians have the right-of-way, and they actually do - at crosswalks and intersections where there are no marked crosswalks. Minnesota State Statute 169.21 states that pedestrians crossing roadways between intersections or marked crosswalk areas "shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway." The statute also says "No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. This provision shall not apply under the conditions as otherwise provided in this subdivision."
Traveling into Canal Park, you'll see plenty of people doing the exact opposite of what they should do. As a driver, it is extremely frustrating. When there are cars parked all along the roadside, it is hard to even anticipate someone suddenly walking into the road. While a large majority of the offenders are summer tourists, there are still locals that do this too. While it is next to impossible to get the word out to every tourist, if everyone who sees this does their part to just follow the rules of the road, it'll make driving in Canal Park a little less stressful for everyone.