Downtown Sioux Falls looking at more walkability

The meeting is tonight from 4-6 PM at Design Center (in between Mama Lada’s and Toy Store).

I think this is a great conversation to have.

An idea I have been pushing for well over a decade has consistently fell on deaf ears, and after seeing the sidewalks over packed with pedestrians this past summer on First Fridays, I think it is time to explore the idea.

Many cities (like Austin, TX) close off their downtown’s main drag on the weekends to vehicle traffic. I’m not suggesting to do the same in DTSF or as often, but I think we could try it on the first and last Friday and Saturday of the month for 3 months. Basically you would block 12th-11th, 11th-10th, and 10th-9th on Phillips so traffic could still go through on the East-West streets. You could bring in temporary picnic tables, food trucks and allow DT restaurants to sell to go street plates and drinks in plastic cups or cans. It would essentially be a big block party.

There would still be plenty of parking in the ramps and surrounding neighborhoods and most of all it would give people a reason to come DT and ‘WALK AROUND’ and explore.

I always thought moving GermanFest from that area was a horrible idea.

Like I said, I have been panning this for years, and I always get the same response – No reply.


#1 Rachel on 01.10.19 at 6:36 pm

I talked to a guy who had a really great idea. Close down Phillips Avenue from 14th to at least 8th every Friday after 5pm. Downtown has so many great businesses and cultural offerings, but the traffic limits the ability for people to enjoy them. A city is best experienced by strolling though it and not having to worry about cars and parking meters and those wonderful folks who think it’s ok to stop in front of Minerva’s and let their spouse out of the car, while obstructing the crosswalk😉

#2 D@ily Spin on 01.10.19 at 9:02 pm

Closing off the street would prove to be a disaster. It happened before. If foot traffic becomes major enough, parking for 3 blocks on Phillips could be temporary pedestal snow fenced off. Having to explore for a parking space has become a sport on weekends downtown. It’s part of the experience.

#3 Very Stable Genius on 01.10.19 at 11:24 pm

“I always thought moving GermanFest from that area was a horrible idea.”

Not only that, but I think that the Sidewalk Arts Festival was far more quaint, when it was on Phillips.

You know in Omaha, each day they change the traffic direction of Dodge Street for morning versus evening rushes. We should try that in Sioux Falls just for fun with one of our streets, and maybe we could rename the street after Trump…. 😉 ……….. Bahahahahaha………

#4 l3wis on 01.11.19 at 8:40 am

Rachel, I pitched the idea last night at the meeting. They said the DT businesses wouldn’t go for it. I have assumed for a long time that DT businesses only want a certain ‘kind’ of crowd coming DT, and block parties apparently attract the wrong kind of people. It’s turning into a real snobfest down there.

#5 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.11.19 at 1:13 pm

It’s only a matter of time before the downtown snobs will paint everything down there taupe….

#6 l3wis on 01.11.19 at 1:17 pm

It really needs to be classified as an ‘entertainment’ district so we can boot all the nick-nack and dress shops out of DT.

#7 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.11.19 at 2:35 pm

The boutique shops come and go in this town like Mr. Hanney….But the drinking is getting bigger and bigger…. We are just becoming a classier version of Barrow, Alaska…..Oh, and they have an Arc too….:

#8 scott on 01.11.19 at 2:38 pm

to hear kelo tell it, you’d think there are thousands of shops downtown, since new ones open all the time, and the others never go out of business.

#9 teatime on 01.15.19 at 12:14 am

Do you mean kind of like a 1970s area pedestrian mall, only just once in a while? It wasn’t a good idea then, and since everyone is drinking more than shopping, they want to sit and not walk.

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