SIOUX FALLS, SD -
After working with officials on the main campus at Sanford Health, as well as the Sioux Falls Police Department, Sioux Falls city traffic engineers came up with a solution to make the area safer for pedestrians.
A hit-run-crash in this same area in December left one woman in critical condition. This prompted city officials to act and make pedestrian cross walks on Grange Avenue between 18th Street and 22nd Street safer.
"We took a close look at the flashers and decided to put in new brighter LEDs and kind of experiment with and see if that does a better job of drawing drivers' attention," Traffic Engineer Heath Hoftiezer said.
The flashers were incandescent lights and were designed to cut down light intensity from the neighborhood. The city was able to make the lights brighter because it's mainly just parking lots in that area.
"In the next couple of weeks we'll take a look at how bright they are and how they look at the signalized intersections at 18th Street and 22nd," Hoftiezer said.
While it's important for city officials to address safety concerns in that area, pedestrians have an option to avoid crossing the street.
"There's an underground passage to cross the road under 18th Street on Grange Avenue, the Sanford Hospital. Along with the hotel that's being built there's going to be a skywalk that crosses Grange Avenue, that's going to be installed this summer," Hoftiezer said.
But for those who still want to cross at the street level, the city hopes this change will help.
"The ultimate goal is to make the crosswalks as safe as we possibly can for the pedestrians," Hoftiezer said.
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