SIOUX CENTER—A group of concerned parents asked the Sioux Center City Council to consider adding two stop signs on 20th Street Southeast, at its intersection with Third Avenue Southeast/Ridge Road.
Stop signs are on Third Avenue Southeast and Ridge Road but east-west traffic on 20th Street Southeast does not have to stop.
Eric Vande Hoef of Sioux Center, one of the seven people present, shared with the council at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 10, their interested in making it a four-way stop intersection.
“We think there’s a need, there’s a safety concern,” he said.
Vande Hoef told the council that the number of kids traveling to the golf course and from residential area around the golf course to the bike trail has increased in the past five years.
“While the speed limit on 20th Street [Southeast] is 25 mph, that speed limit is not observed by the majority of people,” he said. “My wife and I live close to that area. We’ve noticed close calls with bikes and traffic coming at a pretty high rate of speed. As The Ridge area continues to develop, there are more younger kids out there. Kids are asking to bike to school, but we’ve heard from a lot of parents that they’re afraid to let their kid cross there.”
Jessica Vande Hoef, Eric’s wife, added that the sunrise/sunset times of day also make visibility hard, especially because there’s a hill going down to the east.
“I tell my kids triple time to look but also to listen because you can’t see what’s coming up the hill so they have to listen for cars also,” she said. “I’ve trained my kids, maybe scared them to death, but even as an adult, I’m nervous as a 30-something years old to cross there.”
Jessica Vande Hoef said she presented to the council on the same topic about five years ago.
“At that time you said it’s a bypass road,” she said. “But I, and those of us here, believe the residential aspect of the area has changed a lot. With the growth of The Ridge, we consider it to be more of a residential area than a bypass.”
“And we understand what’s coming with the highway project, that that’s going to become a busier traveled road during construction especially,” Eric Vande Hoef added, “so if we could do something now to start controlling the traffic at a better rate of speed in a residential area, that would be great.”
City manager Scott Wynja said a speed trailer was placed on the westbound lane a couple weeks ago to help remind drivers of the reduced speed limit coming into town.
“Staff has been talking about this issue the last couple of weeks,” Wynja told council. “There have been discussions of adding a crosswalk, some sort of crossing, stop signs or the speed limit so we’re aware of potential issues there.”
The council thanked the group for sharing their concern and directed city staff to continued discussing possible options for the intersection.