Signs are posted all around an eight-block stretch of the Cliff Avenue widening project just off 57th Street this summer. Residents in the neighborhood say the most important one is the sign drivers are ignoring.
“Twenty miles per hour is slow. We're not used to the slow 20 miles per hour. We’ve got to go from point A to point B,” Denny Pravecek said staring at the busy street outside his front door.
Pravecek says the 20 miles per hour speed limit is necessary for people like him and his Cliff Avenue neighbors who fight traffic just to get out of their driveways.
And it's clear the commuters driving by don't feel the same way.
“Thirty to 40 miles per hour on average is what most people go through here,” Pravecek said.
“This particular part of Cliff, this construction zone from 49th to 57th has been an active complaint on our list for several months to my knowledge,” Sioux Falls traffic officer Chad Johnson said.
Johnson says as much as police would like to, they can't watch the area 24 hours per day. There are multiple construction zones around town and just as many problem areas.
But at just the slightest sign of Officer Johnson and his laser speed detector, drivers do slow down.
“They’re going 20 to 25 right here right now,” Johnson said, “Once they see us out here, I think they obviously slow down a little bit.”
“I've seen people honking, Pravecek said. “It is road rage-type stuff. People are even going around you.”
After just a few minutes with Officer Johnson, an SUV sped by 18 miles per hour over the limit. The driver received a $125 fine. That's the activity Pravecek wants to see more of in the neighborhood.
“I see kids on bikes go across by here. I see a lot of runners come through here, and thank God there have not been any fatalities,” Pravecek said.
Traffic on Cliff Avenue has increased while Minnesota Avenue is closed during a sanitary sewer construction project.