Have you ever wondered where the busiest pedestrian crossing is located in Sioux Falls? It’s on the campus of Augustana and this week, city officials are unveiling a unique design aimed at making it safer for students and everybody else to cross the street.
This intersection at 33rd St. and Grange Ave. sees a lot of foot traffic. Augustana senior Kaylea Ahrens says it can be a pain when she’s trying to get to the Elmen Center for volleyball practice.
“It has been in the past because you wait, it can take 3-4 minutes to get across. I’m coming from class. I only have 10 minutes from class until I have to get to lift. Oh my gosh I’m running and then you have to wait forever. It’s nice,” Ahrens said.
The change was initiated by Rick Tupper, the Associate Vice President for University Services at Augustana. Tupper saw it in another community and wanted to bring it here.
“So from a standpoint of efficiency, we can get them to and from campus spots a little quicker,” Tupper said.
The hope is it will also cut down on vehicle and pedestrian crashes. The university asked the city if the scramble was possible less than a year ago and officials agreed to try it out.
“So basically we’re shutting down the intersection whenever a pedestrian wants to alert the signal system. They can go diagonally across the intersection. It’s just a much easier way for everyone to get across,” T.J. Nelson from the Mayor’s Office said.
If the pedestrian scramble crossing is a success here at Augustana, the city of Sioux Falls might look at doing it at more crossings, including ones in downtown Sioux Falls.
“Phillips Ave, 9th, 10th and 11th are the next busiest but this is the busiest intersection in town for pedestrians. Especially during the fall, winter and spring months when students are on campus for the semesters,” Nelson said.
Now those students will hopefully have a quicker, safer way to get from the north side of campus to the south.
The scramble crossing is up and running, just in time for the new school year at Augustana.