Adaptive Traffic Signal Technology to Be Installed on Minnesota Avenue and West 41st Street in 2017

In early 2014, Sioux Falls was the first community in South Dakota to install adaptive traffic signal technology. Its use on East 26th Street has made a positive impact on traffic flow in this well-traveled corridor, as well as reducing the number of crashes and decreasing fuel consumption for our residents and visitors. Because of its proven results to keep Sioux Falls moving, the City of Sioux Falls and the South Dakota Department of Transportation will expand the technology onto Minnesota Avenue and West 41st Street in 2017.

“In a growing city, we have to think about far more than creating additional traffic lanes to keep vehicles moving,” says Mark Cotter, Director of Public Works. “If we can find innovative ways to allow drivers to move more efficiently through a corridor, it is a big win for our community.”

In 2014, ten intersections of East 26th Street from Van Eps Avenue to Highline Avenue were equipped with adaptive traffic signal technology that detects current traffic counts and adjusts traffic signals in real time, not to preset patterns. In the first 1,000 days after the technology was implemented, drivers on this corridor have experienced an 8 percent reduction in delay because of shorter intersection queue lengths and fewer stops and a more than 20 percent reduction in crashes.

“When vehicles need to stop less often, the likelihood for crashes also decreases. More smoothly flowing traffic makes for safer commutes and a healthier community,” says Matt Burns, Police Chief.

In large part because of the positive impact on traffic on East 26th Street, in 2017 the technology will be added to eight signals on Minnesota Avenue from 18th Street to I-229 and to 13 signals on West 41st Street from Minnesota Avenue to Marion Road. The City of Sioux Falls has allocated $332,754.00 in the capital improvement plan to improve traffic flow on Minnesota Avenue, and the South Dakota Department of Transportation is investing $528,056.50 to reduce crashes on West 41st Street.

“Work on these two stretches will begin this winter, and the technology will likely be activated by early summer. When that happens, we will ask drivers to pay special attention if they are waiting at the traffic lights because the signals may not cycle in the same way. Motorists will notice a positive difference,” says Heath Hoftiezer, Principal Traffic Engineer.

Combined, the three corridors carry 100,000 vehicles (15 percent of the city’s traffic) on a daily basis.