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November 21, 2017 10:07 PM

A Road Diet For Downtown Sioux Falls

Soon some popular areas of New York and Sioux Falls will have something in common.

"Road diets are you basically take one lane and repurpose it," Sioux Falls Public Works Director Mark Cotter said.

Both cities are cutting down on the number of driving lanes in popular shopping areas.  They hope the change gives the green light to more pedestrians.

"It's important to create that environment where people want to get out and walk and feel safe that they can walk," Cotter said.

Here are two streetscape examples the city is currently working on downtown. Crews are eliminating a driving lane in front of the new Washington Square, along with the new city administration building. They've also completed bump outs at several intersections.

"It really calms or conditions the traffic. We've seen traffic go down by about ten percent in speed," Cotter said.

By switching up the street, it also allows for more landscaping and plaza space.

"At first I thought, 'Oh my gosh. They're really changing the downtown atmosphere,' but it's actually a lot better," Ginger Pelley said.

A road diet that city officials hope will add more customers and businesses to the downtown area.

While road diets have been very popular in New York City that hasn't been the case in Los Angeles.

In fact, they've caused so many traffic jams that city officials have decided to restore some of the driving lanes.

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