Depending on the day, I either am really annoyed with, or totally hate, the traffic lights in Sioux Falls. To be fair, it’s mostly because I’m a fidgety goofball that can’t sit still even while driving. I prefer to drive 10 minutes out of my way to avoid a train rather than sit still for five minutes and wait. Also, the nature of many of the streets I drive on the most can’t have the pleasing synchronized pattern of the lights on O Street in Omaha. Where if you drive the speed limit you can hit all greens for blocks and blocks.

All that being said, I believe I have found the dumbest traffic light in Sioux Falls. It is the turning lane arrows at the intersection where 10th Street becomes Arrowhead Parkway and Sycamore Avenue. Specifically the left-turn arrows for turning south from Arrowhead onto Sycamore. Those arrows are the shortest greens I think I’ve ever seen.

10th and Sycamore
Google Maps

They are so short that barley two vehicles can get through before they’re back to red. Every time you’re in a line of cars waiting to turn, you’re just praying that the person at the front is paying attention. If focus fades for just a millisecond all will be lost. The growing cue of left-turn travelers will be stuck in traffic limbo for another light cycle.

With the understanding that I am an impatient oaf, I decided to see if this traffic light was really super short or if I was overacting. So, I made a video, and I was right. The turning arrows are green for less than 10 seconds! This intersection is one of the busiest on the eastside and that seems too short.

I will say that I do not have a degree in urban planning, have never studied traffic control and had to take stupid person math in collage. So, I am willing to chalk this up to me being an anxious and restless horseless-carriage pilot. But, that light also mildly annoyed me, so I have taken to the internet to tell the world.

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