Tips for pedestrians

Learn tips for walking safely in the City.

Walking safely tips

  • Before crossing a street, scan in all directions. Look left, right, and then left again. Also check for vehicles which may be entering the roadway from a nearby intersection or driveway.
  • Cross streets at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Marked crosswalks have pavement markings, pedestrian warning signs, and/or flashing lights. An unmarked crosswalk occurs at any intersection where crosswalks are not marked. If you choose to cross mid-block, you must yield to vehicles (unless the crossing is marked). Mid-block crossings are illegal if there are traffic signals at both ends of the block.
  • Do not enter the crosswalk if approaching vehicles cannot stop. While Minnesota’s Pedestrian law says that motorists must stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, it also says that pedestrians may not enter a crosswalk if it is impossible for a driver to stop. The word "crosswalk" applies to both marked and unmarked areas where pedestrians can gain the right-of-way.
  • When ready to cross a street, make eye contact with vehicle drivers, and keep your eyes and ears on vehicle speed and noise. Always be prepared for a motorist who fails to yield the right-of-way. The law does not require motorists to stop for a pedestrian waiting to enter a crosswalk. If a motorist does stop, proceed cautiously to determine if other approaching vehicles are following suit. As an alternative, you can wave a stopped motorist on, if you are uncomfortable crossing while motorists are present.
  • Obey "Walk/Don’t Walk" signals. Minnesota Signal law says that a pedestrian may only enter a signalized intersection when the "Walk" signal is shown. They may not enter a crosswalk with a flashing or steady "Don’t Walk" signal.
  • Look carefully for vehicles emerging from alleys and driveways. While it is illegal for motorists to emerge without stopping before the sidewalk, always be prepared for a vehicle which does not stop.

Other tips

  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, and other obstacles before crossing a street, so drivers can see you.
  • Cross in well lit areas at night, or wear brightly colored clothing or reflective materials. Carrying a flashlight at night can also make you more visible to drivers.
  • Watch out for vehicles which are backing up in parking lots, driveways, or on the street. Look for backup lights and listen for vehicle noise.
  • Don’t walk after consuming alcohol or other drugs. Drunk walking increases your chances of being struck.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum – do not use cell phones or headphones when you are crossing a street.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk on either side of the street, or if the sidewalk is inaccessible, walk facing vehicles.
  • Proceed carefully when crossing, never run into the street.

Contact us

Public Works


City Hall
350 S. 5th St., Room 203
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Office hours

Our office is closed to the public at this time.