ST. JOSEPH -- The question of how a St. Joseph resident crosses the road is one step closer to being answered.

The results of a joint St. Cloud Area Planning Organization (APO), City of St. Joseph and Stearns County study were released after months of work. The study focused on 4 different crossings:

  • College Avenue (CR 2)
  • 4th Avenue (Northland Drive)
  • 12th Avenue (CR 133)
  • 20th Avenue (CR 134)

The 3 government organizations wanted to better understand existing conditions in town, and evaluate ways to improve pedestrian and cyclist crossing of County Road 75 in town.

Some of the big issues that came to light during the study were a lack of grade-separated crossings, cars traveling CR 75 at high speeds, lack of or gaps in the sidewalks and how long on average it took for people to cross 75.

Different users of the crossings were looked at including:

  • Lake Wobegon Trail - study recommended people still have easy access to and from the existing trail and that the updated crossings draw tail users to the downtown area.
  • College students - study found they were unlikely to use the CR 75 crossing.
  • Snowmobile users - study recommends keeping the existing trail alignment to avoid safety issues with snowmobiles in the winter.

The intersection with the most proposed improvements was at 12th Avenue and CR 75. The study showed push button activators on poles, relocating the marked crosswalk to align through the center median, or extending the center median, along with increasing pedestrian walk time were some short-term solutions to the issues.

Stearns County is also planning to submit a federal funding application for intersection improvements from County Road 75 to Elm Street including dual eastbound left turns, and two northbound receiving lanes.