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Sioux Falls Officials Up to Study Flashing Nighttime Signals

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Traffic patterns are ever evolving in Sioux Falls. The street department is looking to meet the challenge of improving the flow especially at night.

There are 56 signals in Sioux Falls that run the normal phase all day and night. The other 211 will change to a flashing pattern during the overnight phase of 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Traffic Engineer Heath Hoftiezer said drivers are constantly providing feedback.

“We started making the changes to the flashing times in 2014. Today when we are looking at the dual left turn locations throughout the city, the biggest reason that’s driving us is the comments we’ve gotten from the public. People asking us if it’s possible to do this. Then we consider making changes to the operations.”

When a decision is made on changing the pattern from regular to flashing, Hoftiezer admitted there is a good amount of data behind the switch.

“To do a good analysis you want to look at the history of crashes at an intersection. You take a look at lanes and how they lay out. You really need to put in three to four hours of study, looking through crash data, sight distance and those types of things to make sure it’s a good candidate.”

A couple examples of intersections to see the adjustment are near the Sioux Falls Regional Airport on Minnesota Avenue such as Jaycee Lane and Benson Road which are considered an easier change. Hoftiezer says an example of an intersection that would be harder to flip is Minnesota and Russell Street.

“That’s one of those where there’s a lot more traffic volume. You look at how the traffic volumes ramp up and die down specifically at midnight or 1:00 AM. It’s a difficult one to study.”

Hoftiezer also notes there will be similar operations tests on Arrowhead Parkway this year during the off-peak hours between Highline and Foss Avenues near the east side Walmart. Additionally, expect brand new technology to be installed helping the traffic flow between 41st and 49th Streets once the Louise Avenue reconstruction is complete.

Of course when it comes to crash data it’s not surprising that the heavily traveled sections of 41st Street, Louise Avenue and Western Avenue see the most accidents. See the link here if you want to know the worst spots in Sioux Falls.

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