Monday, June 01, 2015

I-229 Corridor Study: If You Ask Me...Because They Did...They're Asking Everybody

Today are open houses 1 and 2 of 4 regarding the State's I-229 Corridor Study. From 5 to 7 they'll focus on the Minnesota Ave interchange. The open house is at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The convention center is the meat in the Arena/Event Center sandwich.

There is always an opportunity for written public commentary. If I were to comment, it would go a little something like this...

RE: I-229 Corridor Study - Minnesota Ave Interchange

As a volunteer on the American Heart Association Advocacy Committee I strongly encourage this I-229 corridor study consider all roadway users (motorized and not) equally as it seeks to improve the way people move in and around the corridor. Interstates within cities have repeatedly proven to be significant barriers to the free movement of people. This is as true in Sioux Falls as it is in cities all over the world.

The American Heart Association identifies living actively as an important factor in preventing heart disease and preserving heart health.  The possibility of active living is greatly enhanced by removing barriers to movement. Public roads and public spaces that are safe for the most vulnerable users are of primary importance.

I am particularly mindful of the southernmost portion of I-229 as it stands as a wall cutting the southern core of the city off from major pathways of desire: the river, the parks, the bike path. Directing these pathways of desire to traffic dense Western Ave, Minnesota Ave and Cliff Ave presents significant challenges to users. A person need only navigate these three interchanges a few times, counting the conflicts that present themselves before realizing these spaces were not meant for users who choose to power themselves.

Please rework the Minnesota Ave interchange seeking to give an equal level of safety to all roadway users, motorized and not. Use it then as a model throughout the city.

Thank you.
Michael Christensen
American Heart Association

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