Calhoun Village intersection morphs after pedestrian's death

Twenty-five-year-old Caitlan Barton had the right of way in an intersection near Lake Calhoun, but she died after being hit and dragged by a commercial truck last February. Now, that area is making changes to prevent another tragedy.

Barton was walking across Lake Street near Calhoun Village just after 6 p.m. after a workout class. Investigators said the truck was heading south on Market Plaza and hit Barton while turning right on Lake Street, dragging her under the vehicle for nearly 20 feet.

Paramedics from the fire station across the street were with Barton within minutes and were able to get her to HCMC, where she later died.

"It's a real long red light there," John Elder, of the Minneapolis Police Department, told Fox 9 News last February. "If that driver was stopped at the light and she came up on the side, he may not have ever seen her approach."

What has changed

Last week, loved ones joined Barton's family to mark the 1-year anniversary of her death at a memorial where she was hit. Even as they remembered her life, the traffic whizzing by a few inches away was a constant reminder of the danger that took her away from them. A few days after she was struck, friends, family and even complete strangers held a candlelight vigil to remember her and to call for improvements to make the intersection safer for pedestrians.

Richard Logan with the West Calhoun Neighborhood Council said the following things have changed in the intersection:

-Pedestrian crossing lines added

-New timing of pedestrian crossing light gives people a chance to walk into the intersection before drivers get a green light

-Pair of street lights and countdown timers added to the corner

A county commissioner wants to add pedestrian crossing signs to other busy intersections along the Lake Street corridor.

Friend and trainer Mike Calawerts was one of the last people to see her alive, and said making the intersection safer for pedestrians is the best way to preserve her memory.

Barton graduated from Holy Angels before earning her degree from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota. She worked for Target, and friends say she loved to travel and was passionate about raising money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital after her 6-year-old cousin died of cancer.

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