City of Sioux Falls and Augustana collaborating on crosswalk

Crosswalk

Summer construction planned for crosswalk on 30th and Grange

LEAH BLOM

lgblom15@ole.augie.edu

Writing center tutor Andrea Conover sometimes walks back to her home on Grange Avenue at late hours. Usually, she peers beyond the cars lining the street to ensure safe crossing.

“The drivers do not expect pedestrians and underestimate the amount of students who need to cross the street,” Conover, a senior, said of Grange Avenue.

Because of circumstances like Conover’s, the City of Sioux Falls and Augustana will collaborate to establish a crosswalk at Grange Avenue and 30th Street sometime this summer.

According to head of Campus Safety Rick Tupper, accidents occur near Augustana most frequently at the intersection of Grange Avenue and 33rd Street. Tupper said the combination of oblivious students and speeding drivers creates the issue. He hopes the new crosswalk will encourage drivers to slow down.

The crosswalk was the brainchild of four students who live on the west side of Grange Avenue, one of which was Conover, along with housemates Emily Wissink, Kaylyn Deiter and Erin Mairose.

After the women brought the crosswalk proposal to ASA at the Nov. 19 senate meeting, the co-curricular committee facilitated the planning process with officials at Sioux Falls City Hall. Co-curricular committee chairwoman junior Hannah Norem said crosswalks are essential for safety.

“With the recent change to only a two-year on-campus housing requirement, many students are choosing to live off campus,” Norem said. “Wherever students choose to live, it is important that they are safe going to and from their living spaces, so if they need to cross a busy street, they should have a safe way.”

Freshman senator and co-curricular committee member Ryan Solberg said the cost for the crosswalk will be shared by the city of Sioux Falls and Augustana University. Vice President for Finance and Administration Tom Meyer estimates the comprehensive cost to be $4,000, which the two parties will split.

The portion of the crosswalk located on Augustana’s property will be funded by the facilities budget. Augustana’s costs will include leveling the curb in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requiring safe access for those in need of wheelchair access to the crosswalk.

“Since the project was not a budgeted item, it will be completed with contingency fund money,” Tupper said.

The city of Sioux Falls will finance the portion of the crosswalk not on university property, which did not appear problematic for officials at city hall who supported the idea completely, according to Solberg.

The city will be responsible for leveling the curb on the west side of Grange Avenue, pouring the new concrete, painting lines and installing triangular fluorescent signs.

Construction on the crosswalk will begin sometime this summer, “once university-related traffic has decreased,” Tupper said.

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