User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


28° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Business

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Most Popular Today


Downtown Development: Pedestrian Mall To Road Diet

August 29, 2014, 5:55 PM by Perry Groten

Downtown Development: Pedestrian Mall To Road Diet
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The road diet to improve access for pedestrians along Main Avenue is the latest addition to the ever-changing face of downtown Sioux Falls. But the grand-daddy of all pedestrian-friendly projects was an ill-fated effort that banned all vehicle traffic along part of Phillips Avenue.

The pedestrian mall had its roots in the urban renewal trend of the 1970s. Back then, many downtowns were concerned about competition from indoor malls springing up across the country. So a three-block stretch of Phillips Avenue, from 9th to 12th Streets, was off-limits to cars, so shoppers could have that part of downtown all to themselves.

Trees far outnumbered people in downtown Sioux Falls in the early 1980s. But shoppers like Karen Korver have fond memories of the Phillips Avenue pedestrian mall.

"I just remember it being closed off to traffic and that some of the stores were kind of unique and different. So it was kind of fun to see what else was out there rather than at the mall," Korver said.

But the pedestrian mall was on shaky footing from the get-go. People stayed away in droves from downtown because the mall, and it's car-free zone, took away so much parking.

"From what I understand, it was an abysmal failure. And the backlash really started with the businesses right on Phillips Avenue because a lot of that was put in place, ironically, to help the businesses," Community Development Director Darrin Smith said.

The cars returned to Phillips Avenue when the pedestrian mall walked off into the sunset. But Smith says it took a ban on cruising the loop, a decade ago, for downtown to truly rebound.

"Before the loop was removed, nobody was eating out, or having a drink on the sidewalk. Now you see that up and down Phillips Avenue, you're going to see that on Main Avenue," Smith said.

Smith says the old outdoor mall served as a lesson in how not to revitalize downtown. Newer projects focus not just on pedestrians, but also on car and bicycle traffic as well as parking availability, to enhance everyone's downtown experience.

The city hopes to replicate much of the the look and feel of Phillips Avenue one street up, at Main Avenue. The road diet has replaced one lane of traffic with diagonal parking.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View business

You may also like

New Indoor Racing & Recreation Business

11/19/2014 10:05 PM

For about four months out of the year, people in the Sioux Falls area can go go-kart racing and play mini golf.

Full Story | Watch
New Sioux Falls Shop Opens Thursday

11/19/2014 11:10 AM

Holiday shoppers will soon have a new spot to buy locally made gifts.

Full Story
Stroller Recall Due To Amputation Hazard

11/20/2014 9:45 AM

More than four million strollers sold in the United States are part of a recall.

Full Story
Alco To Close Stores Across South Dakota

11/21/2014 2:03 PM

Several South Dakota cities will soon have one less store.

Full Story
Gas Stations In Region Struggling To Keep Up Supply

11/18/2014 5:52 PM

Over the past few days, drivers in Sioux Falls have been noticing certain grades of fuel are out of stock at gas stations across town.

Full Story | Watch


Events