City of Sioux Falls seeing mixed reviews on installation of chicanes

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As Sioux Falls grows, the city is trying out new methods to control traffic.
One of those examples can be found on 15th Street, not far from the Sanford Hospital. The city traffic department has installed a new type of barrier to slow down traffic.

The area near 15th Street is a quaint Sioux Falls neighborhood, lined with small houses. The problem is, for many commuters, 15th is a shortcut to work.

For years residents have complained about cars speeding through their neighborhood. So the city is trying something new, they are called chicanes.

“The idea behind it is simulating two parked cars parked close to each other on the road so that traffic has to basically slow down and negotiate around them, especially if two cars are coming at the same time, the whole idea and main focus is just slowing down traffic,” Heath Hoftiezer, City Traffic Operations Engineer said.

Tom Hanson: And they’ve done this in other cities successfully?

Hoftiezer: Yep, there’s a lot of these in other cities all around the country, and it’s something we’ve been looking to try.

Roxanne Strang has lived on 15th for 22 years.

“It gets really busy, especially during rush hour,” Strang said.

We caught up with her during her garage sale. It didn’t take us long to figure out where she stands on the new traffic measures.

“I think it is ridiculous I don’t think there is any reason for it, I just see a lot of accidents and so forth happening in the future,” Strang said.

Tom Hanson: But don’t you want people to slow down on your street?

Strang: I do, but I don’t think that is necessary, I see accidents happening when people can’t see them even though they are trying to avoid 12th Street and I can foresee a lot of things happening in the winter.

Now, these chicanes will look a lot different when they are completed, they will put stamped concrete on the inside, these orange cones will be gone and then these white delineators will be installed they will be tall with reflectors so people can see them at night.

The city says these first chicanes are a test, they will be monitoring the traffic to see if speeds are reduced. That may determine if they stay on 15th and if other neighborhoods see them as well.

A couple of residents KELOLAND News spoke with said they would rather see speed bumps or stop signs in their neighborhood.

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