Active Transportation Board


The Sioux Falls City Council has adopted an ordinance to establish the Active Transportation Board allowing the Mayor to appoint 9 persons to serve on the board for a period of 3 years each, while initially, two members will serve one year, and two members will serve two years, which will stagger the membership of the board to turnover or to allow for two members to be appointed every two years.

The mission of the active transportation board shall be to significantly reduce all transportation fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, comfortable, healthy, and equitable mobility for all, while the purpose of the Sioux Falls Active Transportation Board (ATB) is to advise the city council, city departments, and city boards regarding bicycle, pedestrian, and other active transportation and accessible pedestrian transportation modes.

As for the makeup of the board itself, it shall consist of the following members:

  1. Director of Planning and Services of the City of Sioux Falls (Chairman of the Board);
  2. Director of Public Works;
  3. One Member from the Bicycle Subcommittee;
  4. One Member from the Pedestrian Subcommittee;
  5. One Member from the P.A.T.H Subcommittee;
  6. One Member from the Development/Real Estate Community;
  7. Citizen At-Large Member;
  8. Citizen At-Large Member;
  9. Citizen At-Large Member.

The three At-Large Citizen Members shall be those residents who possess strong values, needs, and concerns of all users of the city’s roadways and transportation network system, including people who walk, ride bicycles, use transit, drive, and use other mobility devices.

The active transportation board will be tasked to listen to citizen input and develop methods on improving conditions for active transportation users as detailed in the advisory board bylaws. The board shall encourage an informal and robust discussion during the public engagement portion of the meeting agenda allowing any and all members of the public to join the informational and discussion topics. A good portion of the meeting shall be devoted to public engagement.

The active transportation board may provide letters of advocacy on the following matters pertaining to complete streets and active and accessible pedestrian transportation as detailed in the advisory board bylaws; to include, but not limited to the following:
  1. Bicycle and pedestrian corridor and connection plans.
  2. On-street bicycle route changes.
  3. Any complete street design review.
  4. Pedestrian and bicycle safety programs and education.
  5. Bicycle trail projects.
  6. Walk or bicycle on-site reviews.
  7. Traffic signal, intersection control, and crosswalk improvements.
  8. Bicycle parking.
  9. Sidewalk furnishing.
  10. School traffic and safe routes to school improvements.
  11. Other complete street, pedestrian, or bicycle issues that the board would like to provide an advocacy letter.

Recommendation of the active transportation board is required as a part of official business before city council approval on the following items and as detailed in the advisory board bylaws, 1. Bicycle and pedestrian projects within the CIP and city operating budget. 2. City’s bicycle plan and pedestrian plan. 3. City complete street policy. 4. Ordinance changes related to bicycle, pedestrian, or any other transportation accessibility law. 5. To prepare recommendations in matters related to the school traffic safety plans and programs.

The Mayor had proposed the creation of the active transportation board in order to improve upon, and adopt future policies to make better roadways, adopt future bicycle and pedestrian safety codes, let alone to improve upon and best manage our transportation within the city, in order to cut down on fatalities that occur among pedestrians and cyclists.

The creation of a public advocacy board has been long overdue as residents have continued to raise awareness of maintenance of public highways, streets, and roads, let alone the call for action concerning the multiple vehicular incidents arising in recent years involving pedestrians and bicyclists, let alone the need to better plan, and engineer better roads across the city.

The following 18 minute video is quite interesting, and is under the banner of "Strong Towns" so it fits the narrative of this forum.

They speak on three types of infrastructure:

  • Highways - designed to push motor vehicles at quick speeds
  • Roads - thru cities to push motor vehicle traffic, pedestrians and bicycle pathways are separated from motor vehicles
  • Streets - are narrow, keeping speeds to less than 30 miles per hour, and designed to mix in pedestrians and bicycles.

According to the video, Veteran Parkway or Russell Street are defined as a "ROAD" designed to push vehicles only..

Philips Ave and Dakota Avenue would be defined as a street designed to mix in both vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles, connected to businesses, houses, etc.

12th Street, 41st Street, Minnesota Avenue are defined as a "STRODE" which are designed to push vehicles, while dividing pedestrians and bicycles from the strode, placing them often in pathways separated from the strode by barriers...

Strodes are ugly, expensive, and Dangerous

Some have raised the concept of W. Madison and W. Brookings Street should be serviced, and maintained as a "Street" that connects the Town of Ellis to Downtown Sioux Falls. part of W. Madison nearly resembles a ROAD, blending into a "Street' as it passes through West Sioux Neighborhood, the Event Center Complex, on through Covell Lake, routing north to Brookings Street connecting you to North Downtown @ Maine Avenue. This road could eventually become a vibrant pathway to connect vehicular traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists to and from Downtown Sioux Falls from the Town of Ellis.

The initial meetings will adopt bylaws that include election of officers as needed, meetings, conflict of interests, and quorums. The bylaws would be approved or amended by a two-thirds majority of all members of the board, and shall serve without pay, as the policy of all city boards and commissions, let alone will generally meet once a month, with a majority of the members being a forum.

Those interested in applying for membership to this board, will be accepted by the mayor administration starting in the near future upon the effective date of the ordinance around January 5, 2023.

Can you imagine part of future discussions including plans to connect our city bike trail with neighboring communities as part to route the Sioux Falls Bike Trail along East Rice Street to follow the river to Brandon, then allow the trail to connect the Big Sioux River Recreational State Park to Arrowhead Park, to Good Earth Park, passing through to Lake Alvin and its Nature Area, and by connecting to Harrisburg, to Tea, and back north to Sioux Falls, where we could find a connection at Foundation Park at 12th Street, near Skunk Creek.

Finally, we have a citizen board of which will meet actively throughout the year to discuss highways, streets, roads, bike paths, let alone the future of pedestrian traffic within the city, and after 150 years of development, it may be much overdo.