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Main Avenue Diet Helping Grow Business

July 28, 2014, 5:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Main Avenue Diet Helping Grow Business

Just two weeks into a road diet plan for Main Avenue, the results are already visible and positive for city planners and businesses nearby.

"Any time there's a change, you're working through some issues. The parking is a little different, the time zones versus the meters and those things, so there's some adjustments, but so far it's been very positive," Community Development director Darrin Smith said.

The first major challenge was shrinking Main Avenue from three lanes down to two. Smith says with all the changes downtown, less traffic is what's best for business.

"We have more and more people living downtown.  More and more people shopping downtown, visiting downtown to eat out or have a drink. We need more of these Phillips Avenue-like pedestrian areas," Smith said.

Parker's Bistro is one of the first businesses to jump at the opportunity to add outdoor seating because of the road diet.

"We actually came to the city two years ago with this kind of a plan, and we were pretty excited when they didn't say no, and two years later, here we go," Parker's Bistro owner Nick Weiland said.

Weiland says people are spending more time at the restaurant and coming in more often because of both the patio and the doubled amount of parking spots.

"Programs like this will really help drive those businesses to come in because there's more parking; there's more pedestrian traffic, which helps businesses downtown," Weiland said.

People can take a survey about the Main Avenue road diet on the City's website until October, and there's one reaction both businesses and city leaders are expecting to see.

"Just making it permanent, you know?" Weiland said.

If you've made your way through this part of Main Avenue and want to voice your opinion, you can go to the Sioux Falls Community Development website to take a survey.

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