Police lights

Two crashes involving local drivers occurred at the Dakota Avenue and Connelly Parkway intersection last month following the installation of a traffic light.

The separate crashes both occurred on Jan. 25 when local drivers traveling on Dakota Avenue failed to stop for the red light, according to the Savage Police Department.

The first crash occurred around 9:15 a.m. when a Savage resident driving northbound on Dakota Avenue failed to stop for the red light, swerved and triggered a three-vehicle crash, according to police reports.

The driver of one of the struck vehicles was transported to the hospital.

Police cited the Savage resident for failure to stop for a traffic control device, and the driver was brought to the hospital by a family member for non-life threatening injuries, according to crash data.

The day’s second crash occurred around 2:45 p.m. when a Savage resident driving southbound on Dakota Avenue failed to stop for the red light and hit another vehicle in the intersection.

The driver of the struck vehicle, also a Savage resident, was transported by ambulance, according to crash data.

An officer witnessed the crash, and the driver was cited for failure to stop for a traffic control device.

Nearly two years ago, plans for a 190-unit luxury apartment complex to be built nearby stirred longstanding concerns about safety at the intersection.

After the apartment plans were approved, a new engineering study concluded a traffic signal would be warranted for the intersection, and plans to install one were set into motion.

However, crash data shows controlled intersections do not always reduce crashes.

Between 2011-2017, there were more than twice as many crashes at the signal-controlled intersection of County Road 42 and Dakota Avenue than the intersection at Connelly Parkway, according to data gathered in a study by Alliant Engineering.

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