Keep Sioux Falls Moving Safely at 10th and Minnesota
The City of Sioux Falls will keep traffic moving safely and more efficiently at 10th/11th and Minnesota Avenue near downtown Sioux Falls. Changes are coming to the traffic signals and signage at the intersections to allow drivers to turn right on red when pedestrians are not present. Signs at the intersection now will read “No Turn on Red When Pedestrians Are Present.”
“These improvements will keep Sioux Falls moving, and keep pedestrians safe as well. Things have dramatically changed since 2000, and it makes good sense to get this executed,” says Mayor Mike Huether.
Since the no-right-turn-on-red rule was implemented at these intersections in 2000, the volume of pedestrians crossing the intersections has dramatically decreased. In 2003, pedestrian counts at 10th and Minnesota were 963 people between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. In 2006, that number was even higher at 1,043. However, when pedestrian volumes were counted in March 2017, only 336 people crossed this intersection in a day. This summer, another count of pedestrians traffic took place on June 13 with a total of 360 pedestrians. That’s 35 percent of what pedestrian volumes were more than a decade ago.
At the same time pedestrian volumes have been decreasing, the crash rate at these intersections has been decreasing, too. From 2005 to the present, the five-year crash rate average has decreased by more than 45 percent for both intersections.
“These changes will provide considerable delay reductions for right-turning vehicles, but drivers will need to look for pedestrians before making the turns,” says Heath Hoftiezer, Principal Traffic Engineer.
The changes to keep traffic moving also will provide more safety to pedestrians. Because fewer cars will be waiting to turn right when the light turns green, the City also is increasing the lead pedestrian interval from 4 seconds to 6 seconds at these intersections. This means the walk signal for pedestrians will begin 6 seconds before the green light begins for traffic, allowing pedestrians to cross before traffic flows through the intersection.
All drivers, but especially those traveling through downtown, should use caution and make a special effort to watch for pedestrians. Before turning right, look right to ensure pedestrians and bicyclists using the sidewalk can cross safely. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians using crosswalks.