Talking walkability in Sioux Falls

Local News

Wherever you live and however you spend your time, you have to be able to move both safely and efficiently, and on Tuesday the topic of walkability came up at the Sioux Falls City Council’s informational meeting.

Last month, we shared resident Zach DeBoer’s video of the stretch of 14th Street bordering downtown Sioux Falls. In it, he talks about how the safety of the street could be improved. He was also at Tuesday’s informational meeting giving an update on his ideas.

DeBoer says after posting the video, he was contacted by Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken’s Chief of Staff Erica Beck. She lined up a meeting along with other city employees, who were receptive to his ideas.

“It sounds like they are interested, and this spring we’re going to try to re-stripe 14th Street for 10 foot lanes, and in an attempt to slow down the traffic we’re also looking at painting those crosswalks,” DeBoer said.

Joe Batcheller, president of Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc., was also at Tuesday’s informational meeting.

“There’s a lot of different organizations that are interested in walkability right now,” Batcheller said. “They have been for a while, but it’s, we’re starting to see a broader network come together. You have DTSF, you have a lot of the neighborhood organizations, AARP.”

Following the meeting, we decided to find out what others think of the city’s walkability. Downtown we met Tim Johnson of Sioux Falls.

“The block over, I noticed that they’re starting to put up signs that say pay attention to the pedestrian walkway, and that has caught my eye personally as a driver when I’m heading back home, so I think that’s a good step in the right direction,” Johnson said.

He also brings up this crosswalk in between 9th and 10th Streets on Phillips Avenue.

“That was never there before, so I think that alone is a benefit, too,” Johnson said.

Another person we met had good things to say, too.

“I think it’s pretty easy to get around, and I really enjoy the downtown scene,” Jenny Rauch of Sioux Falls said. “It’s really lovely to be able to come down here and walk amongst the stores and see the Christmas lights and enjoy the holidays.”

Rauch says it’s a safe city to walk.

“Yeah, I feel like everything is structured pretty well to promote safety,” Rauch said.

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