Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 10 Access Planning Study

Ramsey, Anoka

Orange barrels on a highway


Study Process Overview

The study planning process included the following approach:

  • Focused on more specific problem areas
  • Considered less-traditional strategies not available 10 years ago
  • Recognized reality of funding limitations
  • Utilized existing infrastructure better
  • Identified right-sized, fundable-scale projects
  • Involved stakeholders and the public

Hwy 10 Corridor Characteristics

The study evaluated many Highway 10 corridor characteristics including traffic operations and safety, trucking and rail demands, pedestrian access, bicycle and regional trail planning, existing and planned land use, sensitive environmental resources, and transit. Summary of each of the considerations (PDF, 4.67 MB)

Traffic Operations

Hwy 10 is a principal arterial with a primary purpose of providing direct, relatively high speed service for longer trips and large traffic volumes. The following describes the existing traffic operations on Hwy 10:

  • Hwy 10 carries an average of 33,500 vehicles per day on the west end of the study area to 61,000 vehicles per day on the east end
  • Speeds for eastbound traffic in the morning peak average 41 mph while speeds for westbound traffic in the evening peak average 35 mph – both compared to 61 mph average speed in uncongested conditions
  • Evening backups on westbound Hwy 10 extend from Fairoak Ave to the Rum River, more than a mile
  • Significant peak hour backups occur on cross streets
  • Crashes, emergency responders and weather significantly impact travel time
  • Train crossings frequently cause delay on the cross streets and limit access to Hwy 10

The capacity and mobility demands of the Hwy 10 corridor are underserved.

Access Inventory

Hwy 10 has numerous public and private accesses that cumulatively degrade the safety and performance of the corridor:

  • 106 access points
  • 7.3 mile study corridor
  • 14.5 accesses per mile
  • 92 properties adjacent to Hwy 10
  • 60 properties have direct access to Hwy 10

Crash Analysis

Hwy 10 has a corridor crash rate that is twice that of similar metro area facilities. There have been a total of 1,621 crashes on the Hwy 10 corridor over the past 10 years.

  • 58% were rear-ends at traffic signals
  • 55% involved a westbound vehicle
  • 13 fatalities
  • 494 crashes occurred during the morning or evening peak periods
    • Average of 1 every 5 days
    • Significant congestion during many crashes
  • 5 crashes involved a train
  • 6 crashes involved a bicyclist
  • 5 crashes involved a pedestrian

Hwy 10 has a high density of closely spaced accesses that cumulatively degrade the safety and performance of the corridor.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Analysis

High traffic volumes and high speeds make Hwy 10 intimidating for pedestrians and bicyclists. Many pedestrians do not cross Hwy 10 properly due to delays or inconvenience. The Hwy 10 corridor lacks trail/sidewalk coverage and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) infrastructure. The following pedestrian/bicycle crashes have occurred within the last 10 years:

  • 6 bicycle crashes and 5 pedestrian crashes
    • 4 pedestrian fatalities
      • 2 fatalities at locations without marked crosswalks
      • 2 fatalities at a marked crosswalk

Hwy 10 is a challenging corridor for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Freight, Trains and Transit

Hwy 10 is an important multi-modal corridor serving vehicular, freight, transit and a total of 81 trains per day.

BNSF Railway

The BNSF Railway runs parallel along the north side of Hwy 10 through the study area. The rail line generally runs 67 freight trains per day at speeds up to 75 mph through the study area. The average freight train is 2.6 miles long. Trains cross the roadway network at-grade numerous times through the study area. When trains interfere with peak hour traffic the typical delays are exacerbated. Average blockage (gates down) times during the peak periods include:

  • 8 minutes in AM peak (5 trains)
  • 2 minutes in the PM peak (2 trains)

In addition, limited flexibility in the railroad’s gate triggering system results in additional blockages at some locations when trains are not present.

Truck Traffic

There are several commercial/industrial land uses adjacent to Hwy 10 within the study area. These land uses generate freight traffic and result in a high percentage of heavy commercial vehicle traffic on north-south intersecting roadways in the study area.


The Northstar Commuter Rail line utilizes the BNSF Railway running 12 trains per day, six in each direction.  Additional Northstar trains utilize the railway during times of special events (i.e., Twins and Vikings games). Amtrak also uses these tracks and runs two trains per day, one in each direction. 

Metro Transit has three bus routes serving the area. Routes 850 and the 852 Express serve Anoka and Coon Rapids. Route 887 Express serves St. Cloud by connecting to the Northstar train at several stops and downtown Minneapolis by bus.

Land Use

The City of Ramsey is expected to experience substantial growth increasing population from 28,000 in 2010 to a projected population of 43,000 by 2030.  Ramsey’s growth will be focused in the COR and commercial/industrial development along Hwy 10. The City of Anoka is largely developed but redevelopment projects such as the Greens of Anoka are anticipated.

The Hwy 10 corridor includes a wide range of interdependent land uses. Expected growth and redevelopment within the corridor will bring more people and further challenge the corridor’s transportation infrastructure.

Environmental Considerations

Environmental resources such as cultural resources, contaminated sites, wetlands/water resources, parks, schools and recreation sites can influence the location of roadway improvements.