Besides people shooting themselves over a meth deal in Sioux Falls these days, we have another epidemic, speeding in residential areas. If I hear one complaint more from residents about crime, it is people who speed through sensitive areas (mostly school zones). There is a solution, and it is quite effective, and rather inexpensive. Small towns across South Dakota have been using solar powered flashing speed signs. Not only are they pretty frickin’ handy, they can also be moved quite easily using a bracket system.

Councilor Stehly is pushing for ‘testing’ these signs. She was voted down during the budget process, but she tells me that she is still pushing for them. Like snow gates, Theresa won’t give up until they are implemented or at least tested.

Our chief traffic engineer responded to a series of questions from Theresa;

From: Hoftiezer, Heath
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 10:52 AM
To: Stehly, Theresa <>
Subject: Responses to Speed Trailer Questions

1. You indicated that we are using the speed safety signs on poles within school districts only. The city currently does not own any for residential areas.

That is correct, so far we have limited usage to School Zones.

 2. We talked about the areas that are high complaint areas.  Right now, how often do we put the speed trailers out. How many speed trailers do we have and how long do you let them sit in an area? How do you decided who gets to have the speed trailers?

There are three speed trailers that are moved around to different locations on a weekly basis from Spring thru Fall.  A list of speeding complaint areas that is generated by calls to Police, Public Works, City Clerks, Mayors Office and received CRM’s is used to determine where the trailers are placed.

 3. We talked about the speed trailers we currently have sticking into the roadway. It is also my understanding that they are bulky and labor intensive to move.

Depending on location on narrower streets the trailers can influence traffic quite a bit due to protruding into the driving area (this can be good and bad).   The trailers generally take up a parking spot in order to be placed so they are not able to be placed at locations that do not have parking.  It takes approximately one day for a person to pick-up and deploy the three speed trailers that the City currently has.

 4.  You seemed to view the addition of pole mounted solar speed signs in notorious complaint areas as a possible benefit for our community. You said you would appreciate it and they would be used  if they were available.

That is correct.  We have explored the concept of what you are proposing a couple of years ago and our biggest concern was what the expectation would be for relocation timelines.  The 3 month rotations that you were talking about would be reasonable to work with.

 Please let me know if you need anything else.

 Heath R. Hoftiezer, P.E., PTOE • Principal Traffic Engineer City of Sioux Falls

Stehly also got an estimate from a traffic control company;


Price estimate for 10 solar 400 speed signs for Sioux Falls South Dakota.

Dimension 4ft 5ft


Signs 10 $–3,595 per sign $35,950

Brackets Included

Postage 160 per sign $1,600

Traditional speed limit sign $25 per sign $250

Customer Discount -$5,000

Total cost $32,800

Warranty……..2 years

Easy to Move

Low Maintenance

Tracking information available for $ 250 per sign / $2,500

Can be mounted on light pole or traditional pole



10 Thoughts on “Solar Speed Signs just make sense!

  1. Theresa stehly on November 25, 2016 at 8:44 pm said:

    I was able to secure a quote from another company at the National League Of Cites convention in Pittsburgh. It came in at $25,000 for 10 signs. These would be movable and solar powered. We could have a presence in a neighborhood for several months to calm the traffic. I believe the citizens would LOVE this safety service. And we can certainly afford this for the common good of the community. We just spent $60,000 to renovate our website.

  2. They are endorsed by “Dewey County” so they must be great!!!

  3. What Do I Know on November 26, 2016 at 1:43 pm said:

    Stanley seems to be a worse councilor than Staggers, not only can she not build concensus her fits are embarrassing to the City. I’m being bullied??? Are we 12 years old? Although it is entertaining watching the two bullies Stahley and Huether go at it.

  4. The D@ily Spin on November 26, 2016 at 10:08 pm said:

    Looks like another propaganda comment coming from the executive branch. Huether will kill the signs but he’ll not be around much longer. I suspect there’s a serious problem with city cash flow. This isn’t a big expense but neither was snow removal that (recently) didn’t happen.

  5. W D I K, what does seeking new ideas and trying to rein in bad management cause you to be embarrassed? When you see a person stand up to a bully (and his fellow bullies) you consider the action wrong? Someone has to ask the questions and demand answers.

    For Theresa Stehly to demand answers to questions is not being a bully, it is being a legislator. I for one wish we had more like her demanding answers from our town’s questionable administration.

  6. Watertown has the speed sign trailers. Several police car have trailer hitches and officers move them around when traffic issues are seen.

    The speed signs are a poor idea as these fixed signs are quickly forgotten about by the frequent offenders. The frequent offenders in my hood are the spoiled brat neighborhood teenagers.

    Speed trailers are the way to go. If you really want to make a dent in problem, equip some of those trailers with speed cameras that take pictures of vehicles which far exceed the limit. An officer reviews pictures taken by the camera and issues a warning to the vehicle registered driver. After 2 warning, you get a officer visit.

    I know if my kid was issued a speed warning with a picture as proof, I would take action. We had 1 teen who was a constant offender. I walked dow the block and had a cordial discussion with her mother. Problem solved.

  7. Theresa stehly on November 28, 2016 at 10:18 pm said:

    Unfortunately the speed trailers are about $14,000 a piece, difficult to store and stick out into traffic. That is according to our police chief. We are already using the solar speed signs on school roads and I have gotten great feedback as to their effectiveness. Citizens have been very positive about the possibility of having a speed sign in their neighborhood to calm traffic. It is worth a community discussion…I have also contacted the contractors on I-229 to suggest that these could be installed in this dangerous stretch of speedway driving. (At budget hearings, our public works department pledged that they would try them out.)

  8. And still, why uncontrolled intersections?
    Let’s get stop/yield signs in all intersections!

    While I’m at it, I hate the blinking stop lights at night.
    I know the reasons and which ones should blink, but when you go through a couple that do and then another that doesn’t, you tend to forget.
    Has this reduced any accidents?

  9. James, they have been determined to be dangerous (flashing lights).

  10. I was coming home from the south this weekend, which I haven’t done in a long time. Western and 69th was blinking and then Minnesota and 69th was not. It varied (from what I remember (no I hadn’t been drinking)) the rest of the way home.

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