Pedestrian accident sparks change


Andrew Gilbert

New crosswalk signs for Highway 47.

Madison Karshbaum, Media Staff

On Tuesday, November 20th, eighth graders Kaia Bollman and Annie Lamotte were walking to show choir, just like every other time. These girls did everything they were supposed to do. They walked together, pressed the button, looked both ways, and crossed. But this time, it was different. Both girls were struck by a car when they were crossing

Both girls were transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, but due to Bollmann’s injuries, she was moved to the pediatric ICU at the same hospital. Just this February she got to go home.
This event, covered by every major Twin Cities news outlet, set off a string of community action calling for a change in safety measures for the intersetion, including a gathering of people at the site and petitions to elected officials.

“The intersection where two girls were tragically struck recently has been problematic for a long time,” stated Senator Michelle Benson in her newsletter to constituents.
She included a video that discussed possible solutions including: a pedestrian bridge, a pedestrian tunnel, a round about, and narrowing of lanes.

“This incident has raised the level of concern to actually moving to problem solving,” said Benson.
At this time stop-gap measures have been put in place which include lowering the speed limit to 35 miles hour for that stretch of Highway 47 and large, light up signs that reads, “Watch for Pedestrians.”

Both girls continue to heal as the community continues to fight for change.