Did you know that Sioux Falls has 267 traffic lights? It does yes. And I'm sure you've hit a red on all of them on the way home, with a car full of complaining kids, with a headache and a stink in the air that kept the windows rolled up.

Anyways, the number of those traffic light that flash at night is about to increase.

If you don't know - like if you live a life where you aren't out and about late at night or early in the morning - many of our city's traffic light switch to blinking after a certain hour. Of the 267 in town, 211 of them flash between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM.

Tuesday (April 18) the City of Sioux Falls said that it will be reviewing the possibility of adding 20 more light to the flashing list. Included in that review will be some dual left turn lanes that previously did not flash at night.

Moving forward, when safe to do so, these approaches will change into flashing red operation at night instead of cycling through the normal phases the city said in a press release.

“It makes little sense to most when you are stuck at a red light in the middle of the night and there isn’t an oncoming car in sight. We can keep Sioux Falls moving with these changes and still keep our drivers safe, too,” said Mayor Mike Huether.

I agree, Mr. Mayor! At various times in my life I have spend many an hour on the streets late at night, either for business or pleasure. Who am I kidding, mostly for business. If you go to or get off of work between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM it is a super pain in the commute to have to sit at an empty intersection and wait for the light.

Intersections that will be reviewed for this possible change include the intersection of North Jaycee Lane and North Minnesota Avenue and the intersection of Benson Road and North Minnesota Avenue. If visibility concerns exist at the intersections or the intersection includes complicated lane geometry, flashing is not possible.

By the way, now's a good time to review what to do when a traffic light is flashing.

  • If the light is flashing yellow, drivers need to be cautious and ready to slow down or stop to avoid possible hazards. Be ready, be cautious, but keep moving if everything's OK.
  • If the light is flashing red, drivers need to treat it like a stop sign. Come to a complete stop and then verifying if it is safe to proceed before pulling into the intersection.

Source: City of Sioux Falls


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