SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — At a city informational meeting on October 4, 2023, the Sioux Falls City Council heard a presentation of the city’s updated bicycle and pedestrian plans.
Fletcher Lacock of the Sioux Falls Planning Department gave the presentation and fielded questions from the council.
Through a variety of tactics, Lacock says the plan has been put into place, and will aim to be scheduled to go before the next available City Council meeting.
“Through the process, we identified some goals — what were our very high priority goals, our high priority goals and moderate priority goals,” said Lacock.
Lacock said very high priority goals for the community included safe and comfortable bicycle routes, expansion to the bike trail, and creating connections to the trail.
Lacock said that the traffic circle placed at 9th and Prairie is an example of these priorities being acted upon.
On the pedestrian side of things, Lacock highlighted suggestions from a 2019 survey that recommended changes to design, maintenance and education.
“There are a lot of deaths happening in this country due to conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles,” said Lacock.
The goal of the plan, said Lacock, is to create safe and attractive pedestrian facilities.
Within this goals are five objectives:
- Maintenance and condition of sidewalks must be a very high priority
- Street crossings and crosswalks should be safe and accessible
- Pedestrians should have convenient and attractive linkages and connectors in their neighborhood
- The City should foster a pedestrian-oriented site design that encourages walking through the implementation of site design guidelines, ordinances, streetscaping, and other measures
- Update engineering road design standards to incorporate new complete street principles
Some specific changes Lacock mentioned included pedestrian bump-outs at certain intersections.
Answering a question about the bike plan, Lacock gave an update on what the next stage will be following the traffic circle on 9th. “Next year the next phase of the project is installing traffic signals on 10th and 11th Street on Prairie Ave,” he said, “so that bicycles can get across those major roadways.”
Questions about blue painting on the streets were also answered by Lacock, who informed the council that some bump-outs have been painted with the intent of helping to slow traffic in specific areas.
“The idea is that you wouldn’t drive through the painting; you’d drive around it,” Lacock said.
To a question regarding how the city is quantifying the success of these programs, Lacock talked about the need to rely on traffic counts and technology. “When we get new traffic signals in, sometimes there’s cameras,” he said.
Protected bike lanes were also raised as an idea. “We don’t have any protected bike lanes,” said Lacock, “so that’s something, as a community, we know it will create a safer area.”
Lacock said that hopefully in the future, support would be there for such lanes.