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Sioux Falls School District comes up with plan for dangerous crosswalk

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 11:18 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - One day after some Sioux Falls parents voiced their concerns to Dakota News Now about students’ safety walking to and from the new Ben Reifel Middle School, the district is taking action.

The Sioux Falls School District has developed a one-year plan to study traffic patterns in the area and find a permanent solution to the dangerous intersection kids will cross walking to and from the new Ben Reifel Middle School.

A rapid flashing sign will soon be added to the corner of 41st Street and Manifold Avenue to alert drivers and allow students to safely cross from the north of 41st Street.

“Rapid Rectangular flashing beacons, or RRFB, is a newer traffic control device that we’re starting to use in the city of Sioux Falls,” said Heath Hoftiezer, Principal Traffic Engineer for the Sioux Falls Public Works Department.

“We got a few of them in the city, one of them is for crossing the street near the Midco Aquatic Center.”

The crosswalk signs have already shown success in other parts of the city.

“We have been getting good compliance where we do put them in, as far as vehicles slowing down and stopping,” said Hoftiezer.

They’re also used in some high traffic tourist areas.

“Downtown Wisconsin Dells, you got all the pedestrians walking around in that area along with all the vehicles on the main road and that’s one of the methods they use for getting people across the street there too,” said Hoftiezer.

The Sioux Falls School District will also be providing a shuttle bus to pickup and drop-off students at the 41st Street and Manifold Avenue intersection, to take them across Highway 11.

Some parents of Ben Reifel students that we spoke with say they are glad the district listened to their concerns and came up with a plan.

“Thank you for the school district working so hard and coming up with a proposal that they have come up with. I think that we have asked for a safe option, the shuttle is more than likely a safe option for us,” said Sarah Sporrer, who will have two children attending the school.

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