Aberdeen Main Street sees renewed push for layout change

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:21 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Main Street in downtown Aberdeen has been the site of a number of new and returning events and activities this summer. And that interest is adding to a building momentum of overhauling the layout of the street.

Aberdeen first switched it’s downtown Main Street to a one-way going north in the late 1970′s. There’s been calls to change it back before. But Aberdeen Downtown Association Board President Spencer Sommers said now more than ever there’s economic reasons to follow through.

“Pretty much most successful downtown’s have made that conversion back to a two-way. There was a big push in the mid-1900′s to switch to a one way and get cars out of downtown quick.” said Sommers.

Sommers said the process could be done without much change to downtown infrastructure initially, while a more permanent plan is drawn up. That includes a new traffic light at Main Street and 6th Avenue. It would also include restriping the street and adding stop signs. All of which he said will slow down traffic and make it safer for pedestrians and commuters.

“By kind of constricting that traffic flow and adding a few stop signs, it’ll help both people trying to back out onto Main, both people trying to cross Main Street.”

Sommers said the momentum that downtown has seen this summer, helped fueled by the new Malchow Plaza and new concerts and events, will only lead to a busier area. And he said now is the time to capitalize on that, and make downtown the place to be.

“We need to keep taking steps, they can be little steps. But I think we’re seeing the success so far. And I think if we keep doing it, it’s going to be something that’s going to be really successful, for downtown and for Aberdeen.”

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