5 Ways to Know You’re Driving in Sioux Falls
We're a city, those of us who live in (or drive in) Sioux Falls.
Oh, we're not a big city. We're not Minneapolis or Chicago. We're not the Big Apple. But we're a big fish in the little pond that is South Dakota. We're a little big city. Or a big little city.
Having lived in our great city now for a couple decades, I've come to know five things that tell me, yessir, you're driving in our not-big-but-bigger-than-little city.
1) Three Cars Can Take That Left On That Yellow Arrow: I'm on Western heading north from 49th and I hit the red light at 41st. No problem. Yeah, it's a busy intersection but I've got time. Folks are taking a left off 41st and it's great, traffic flowing pretty good in fact. That left arrow turns yellow and then it happens. Somehow as if by magic, three cars can get through, scooting left. I mean, these guys are bumper-to-bumper, closer than Harvick and Busch on a NASCAR track. So while my light is green, I have to wait...and wait...and wait. I'm pretty sure that arrow is burning bright red when that last fella goes through. But I have patience. Although I might pull my hair out if I had any.
2) Speed Limits Are Merely A Friendly Suggestion: When you're traversing our friendly city you'll see speed limit signs on streets. Various streets, various speed limits. Apparently, these are merely suggestions by the city about the speed that is safe on said street. Go ahead, drive the exact speed limit on Kiwanis...West 12th...East 10th...Minnesota. Wave as your neighbors zip by, and if it happens to be snowy/slushy (which it often is certain times of year), work those wipers and pull out that free car wash coupon. Your car will be dirty again tomorrow, but it'll make you temporarily feel a little better.
3) If It's Dusk Every Fourth Vehicle Will Be Driving With No Headlights On: This is a fun one because it's almost like you're playing a potential game of bumper cars. Right around that time when it's half-dark, you'll want to be on the lookout for that 'every fourth vehicle'. The one that doesn't have his headlights on because 'Heck, I can see just fine!'. Of course, it's difficult for you to see him, and if you pull out after all those folks who are smart enough to have their headlights on, it could be 'Bingo!', you lose. This one also applies, of course, during snow, rain, fog, etc. I guess it's just too doggone much trouble to put those lights on.
4) I-229, Also Known As South Dakota's Version Of The Daytona Motor Speedway: If you're a NASCAR fan and wonder if would be like trading paint with the big boys, here's your chance. I-229 has multiple lanes, multiple exits...I mean, pit stops...and apparently you can put the pedal to the metal. It seems there is no speed limit (see #2 above) and folks regularly go from the far left lane to the far right because their exit (pit stop) is a hundred feet away. Oh, and if you're foolish enough to drive the (suggested) speed limit, or even worse 5 MPH below said speed limit, you'll enjoy the sound of various horns from various vehicles. And you'll enjoy the rainbow of flashing red and yellow lights up ahead as one of your neighbors visits one of our police officers.
5) If You Loved Dodge-Ball, You'll Enjoy Sioux Falls Dodge-Hole: At certain times of the year Sioux Falls administers driving tests, tests to determine your dexterity behind the wheel. There are certain obstacles around our fine city and if you're not paying rapt attention, you'll bump into...I mean, drop into...one or more of them. Remember the fun you had trying your best to avoid the ball in Dodge-Ball? Well, it's the same with Dodge-Hole. Do your best to avoid that gaping chasm without swerving into the other lane. Now, of course, you could slow down but what fun would that be? Now, if you happen to lose at Dodge-Hole, you'll be playing another game, one that's nowhere near as fun. It's called 'Now-I-Have-To-Buy-A-New-Rim-And-Tire' game. And no one wins. But I think you get a participation trophy. I'm not sure.
So there you have it. Enjoy motoring through the greatest city in the world, Sioux Falls. And don't worry about horrendous rush hour traffic. We don't have that yet, we just have baby rush hour traffic. Hey, as I said, we're a city but not that big.