Pedestrian Risk on Anishinaabe Reservations in Minnesota: Overview and Phase 2 Results


Greg Lindsey, John Hourdos, Sebastian Coll, Michael Petesch, Adrien Carretero, Hannah Pritchard

June 2024

Report no. MnDOT 2024-18

Studies by the Federal Highway Administration show that American Indians have higher rates of pedestrian injury and death per capita than any other population group in the United States. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has identified Native Americans as one of six priority populations in Minnesota that face disproportionate risks as pedestrians. This report summarizes efforts taken between 2016 and 2024 to document and reduce risks to pedestrians on the seven recognized Anishinaabe reservations in Minnesota. Across reservations, researchers monitored pedestrian crossings using video recorders at 23 different sites identified by Tribal transportation managers, including 10 Phase 1 sites (2016-2020) and 13 Phase 2 sites (2019-2024). Monitoring results, including pedestrian counts, interactions with drivers, and yield rates, were used to inform planning and implementation of countermeasures to reduce crash risk at six Phase 1 sites and two Phase 2 sites. These countermeasures included marked crosswalks with pedestrian landing pads, better lighting and signage; ADA-accessible pedestrian access ramps; and a pedestrian hybrid beacon. Additional countermeasures have been scheduled or planned for 2024 or later at six more locations. Post-implementation monitoring at six Phase 1 sites confirmed that countermeasures change pedestrian and driver behaviors, but not all pedestrians or drivers use countermeasures as designed. Implementation of countermeasures may change risk factors and reduce risks, but risks cannot be eliminated and will remain after countermeasures are implemented. Consultation, coordination, and cooperation among Tribal, state, and local transportation planners and engineers are essential to reducing crash risk and increasing pedestrian safety.

In addition to this report, results from Phase 2 also are summarized in six story maps available online:

Fond du Lac Reservation

Grand Portage Reservation

Leech Lake Reservation

Mille Lacs Reservation

Red Lake Reservation

White Earth Reservation

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