Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 197


About the Project

*This demonstration project is complete and has been removed.

Earlier this summer we installed temporary pedestrian enhancements near downtown Bemidji. Located at the intersection of Highway 197/Bemidji Avenue/Paul Bunyan Drive and Sixth Street, they showed what permanent improvements could look like.

Enhancements included a center refuge island for pedestrians trying to cross the road and additional crosswalk paint.

These enhancements were in place until the fall.

This project is separate from the Highway 197 Corridor Study.

Demonstration project

picture of temporary pedestrian improvement project on Bemidji Ave and Sixth Street
This project layout shows how a temporary refuge island on Bemidji Ave and 6th St will look. The demonstration project will improve safety for pedestrians crossing near Library Park.

This temporary project will test safety benefits of a pedestrian refuge island at this location and help MnDOT evaluate if the potential scenario could become a permanent solution.

During the demonstration project, motorists traveling north on Bemidji Avenue will not be able to make a left turn onto Sixth Street. It increases safety for pedestrians crossing the highway by:

  • Decreasing the amount of time pedestrians are exposed to traffic
  • Allows for a refuge space between opposing lanes of motorists
  • Allows pedestrians to focus their attention on a single direction of traffic
  • Traffic calming enhancements can help reduce motorist speeds

Provide your feedback

The project will be in place through the fall and removed before winter. We are asking community members to take time and test the project, then provide us with their feedback.

The survey has closed, but you can still provide your insights to Jon Mason at jon.mason@state.mn.us or 218-407-1917.

London Road 36th Avenue East

MnDOT installed a temporary center refuge this summer for pedestrians to more safely cross Bemidji Avenue at 6th Street