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Want To Help Turtles Cross The Road? Just Pay Attention

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s the time of year when turtles of all shapes and sizes are on the move.

Many, including the Blandings Turtle, cross busy roadways to lay their eggs.

The Blandings is a protected species in Minnesota, and some in the south metro worry it’s even more at risk in their neighborhood.

On 84th Street in Bloomington, busy cars speed by while time turtles try to trudge across.

“I just wish we could do something to help them a little bit,” said Jessica Wright.

Wright and Michelle Nelson live in Shakopee, but drive on 84th Street every day for work. Lately, they say they’ve seen too many turtles end up as road kill. And they’d like to see the city get more proactive.

“A little turtle sign, like a deer crossing sign…That would be great,” Nelson said.

“If people were more aware…they might slow down a little bit and be more aware of their surroundings,” Wright said.

The city installed sloping “turtle curbs” on 84th Street with turtles in mind. They think they help them get across this busy road a lot easier. But they have no plans to add any additional signage. Bloomington city engineer Julie Long says that strategy hasn’t really been effective.

“The people who are watching for the turtles are watching for the turtles regardless of the signs. And the distracted drivers — who are on their cell phones and aren’t watching the road — they aren’t watching the sign either. So it’s not an effective means of warning that individual,” Long said.

That’s why Long is asking people to please keep their eyes open while driving in the city.

She says if you have a safe chance to move a turtle off the road, move it in the direction it’s going.

One expert says that for every Blandings Turtle that is killed, 30 years of reproduction are lost.

For more information, click here.

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