The City of Sioux Center will be installing new button-activated rapid flashing pedestrian signs on 20th Street SE at the 3rd Avenue intersection. This pedestrian crossing connects about 90 homes in the South Ridge residential area to the rest of Sioux Center.
City staff recommended these flashing signs after a group of residents presented a request during the Sept. 10 council meeting to add stop signs on 20th Street at this intersection to improve pedestrian safety.
“The rapid-flashing pedestrian signs will allow pedestrians to alert drivers from a distance to stop for them, and they will allow for vehicle traffic flow when no pedestrians are present,” said Utilities Manager Murray Hulstein.
The council and city staff also shared plans to move the nearby 25 MPH speed limit signs farther to the east, slowing down westbound traffic sooner prior to the crossing. In addition, the Sioux Center Police Department is planning to do increased enforcement in this area.
“This is an opportunity to improve safety and keep our town connected for people like students walking to school,” said Mayor David Krahling. “This is part of the solution. The other part of the solution is the way we all drive. We have to pay attention to those signs; we have to respond to those signs. This is a good first step."
The button-activated lights on these pedestrian signs have an irregular flashing pattern like emergency vehicle lights. The signs are similar to those installed downtown on Main Avenue and on 9th Street SE near First Reformed Church at pedestrian crossings.
Drivers are required by law to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.