Traveling on Rice Street
People use Rice Street in a variety of ways. Whether driving, biking or walking, using transit or commuting, each mode of transportation needs to be safe and effective.
Rice Street experiences three times more crashes than similar roadways statewide. On average, Rice Street experiences 125 reported crashes per year. By comparison, typical urban 4-lane undivided roadways statewide experience 43 crashes per year.
The Rice Street intersections with the most crashes are at Arlington Avenue, Maryland Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. All intersections were compared to similar intersections statewide based on the roadway type, traffic control device (signal or stop control), the roadway speed limit and traffic volume to determine if crashes are happening at higher-than-expected levels.
Between Wheelock Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue there are nine intersections that have more crashes per year than the statewide average for similar intersections. Only 8% of all intersections in Minnesota experience more crashes per year than the statewide average, and 9 of them are located on this 2-mile segment of Rice Street.
Biking and walking
Fifty-two accidents involving pedestrians and/or bicyclists were reported on Rice Street from January 2014-September 2019.
There are several schools located near Rice Street. Along with businesses, parks and other community institutions, these are important pedestrian and bicycle destinations. With pedestrian and bicycle crashes occurring at most intersections, ensuring safe walking and biking is a major priority along Rice Street. particularly near schools, parks and other youth destinations.
Seventeen bus stops and four bus routes currently connect the Rice Street Study area to Dinkytown, the University of Minnesota campus, Downtown Saint Paul, Downtown Minneapolis, Roseville, Little Canada, Vadnais Heights, Shoreview, and the 95th Avenue and Highway 36 Park and Rides. Metro Transit has identified Rice Street as a potential future route for Bus Rapid Transit and other enhanced transit modes.
Many considerations go into determining transit routes and their levels of service. Connecting job concentration areas, households with limited or no vehicles, areas with transit-supportive densities, and areas of concentrated poverty are often heavily weighted in transit route considerations. Transit routes along Rice Street serve many of these areas, making safe, efficient and convenient transit service a priority.
Currently, Metro Transit is investing in an upgrade to transit service along the corridor, with increased frequency on Route 62, the main local bus route serving the corridor. Metro Transit is interested in learning more about transit user needs and experiences on Rice Street, to better serve their needs.