Our View: Dickinson must add more traffic lights
If you have driven in Dickinson in the past week — or at all this summer — you know two things: there’s more traffic than ever before and it’s increasingly frustrating to drive here.
The city is doing as much as it can, as fast as it can, to fix streets, and improve sewer and water infrastructure.
Next, and sooner rather than later, city leaders must begin focusing on above-ground street issues — particularly the lack of traffic lights and signs on heavily trafficked roads.
This week, the closure of part of 15th Avenue West led to traffic backups on 12th Street West and 21st Street West as motorists tried to find alternative ways to access State Avenue and Third Avenue West. While good weather and few accidents kept traffic from becoming completely unbearable, the change in the amount of cars on the road was noticeable.
More noticeable has been the increase of stop-and-go driving and difficulty in turning onto thoroughfares. This must change soon.
The best way to do this — which we know the city is exploring — is by adding more traffic lights and improving the timing systems for existing ones.
Four-way stops on State Avenue, and busy intersections on 10th Avenue West need traffic lights to help improve the traffic flow and give those trying to turn off east-west streets easier access.
This will lead to steadier traffic flow and fewer accidents — especially in the winter when stop-and-go driving and ice combine to cause slipping, sliding and smashing of vehicles.
The movement of CHI St. Joseph’s Health and the Sanford Health Dickinson Clinic to Fairway Street will lead to traffic issues at intersections along State Avenue and 23rd Avenue West. The hospital, clinic, the future Dickinson Hills Shopping Center and the ongoing expansion of the West Ridge development means there will need to be lights along 30th Avenue West.
In some of these areas, traffic lights are already necessary.
And let’s not even get into the quandary that is the Interstate 94 eastbound exit onto Third Avenue West.
Dickinson is growing and there are more cars on the road. More cars mean more frustrated drivers and more accidents as people try to get where they’re going faster.
Many of these accidents and frustrations can be prevented with the addition of a few traffic lights around town.
The Dickinson Press Editorial Board consists of Publisher Harvey Brock, Managing Editor Dustin Monke and Assistant Editor April Baumgarten.