What Are Traffic Circles, and How Are They Making Sioux Falls Safer?
Sioux Falls is growing at a record pace, and with that growth, comes issues with traffic.
Traffic problems in the form of congestion, and dangerous intersections.
The good news, the city continues to take steps to help curb both issues by installing things like traffic roundabouts at major intersections and smaller versions called traffic circles at smaller crossroads.
A great example of the city attempting to stay out in front of its traffic flow problem is the construction of the diverging diamond project now underway on 41st Street near the intersection of I-29. While it's been a pain in the you-know-what for the past year or so, I think we can all agree, that once it's completed it will make driving South Dakota's most traveled street a much less frustrating experience.
Like 41st Street, Sioux Falls has many other streets at the moment that either have traffic flow problems or dangerous intersections.
Dakota News Now reports, that back in April one of these areas was just a couple of blocks west of downtown.
There was a particularly dangerous intersection on Duluth Avenue inside the Historic Cathedral District.
Sioux Falls resident Bob Tryzynka, told Dakota News Now, "We did have a stop sign on Duluth here, but the traffic would just blow through the stop sign. And, so, we saw accidents regularly.”
Dakota News Now reports in April the city set up temporary traffic circles at 9th and Duluth, and another two blocks away at 9th and Prairie.
What exactly is a "Traffic Circle?"
It's a place where roads meet in a circle that drivers go around to find their next road.
The feedback the city received from residents in those neighborhoods regarding the temporary traffic circles was mostly positive. So the city made the decision to install permanent traffic circles to help elevate the dangerous traffic issues both those neighborhoods were facing.
Now city crews are in the process of finalizing those projects by creating more permanent concrete structures. Once that is done, the next step will be to smooth the edges of the outer circle with asphalt to make a ramp, so bigger vehicles can drive up on it, while keeping smaller cars from zipping through.
The city plans to pick up the tab on the construction of the traffic circles in the two neighborhoods, while neighborhood associations will pay for the planting of flowers to beautify both circles.
According to Dakota News Now, at this time, there are three traffic circles including two on 9th Street, and a total of seven roundabouts throughout Sioux Falls.
Construction of another roundabout is currently underway in Harrisburg at Willow and Cliff.
Sioux Falls also has plans to construct another roundabout next year. The city's next roundabout will be located at 95th and Western Avenue.
Source: Dakota News Now