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DOT buys software to synchronize Sioux Falls traffic

By Bob Mercer

Capitol Correspondent

PIERRE — The state Transportation Department is borrowing an idea used in other states to smooth the flow of traffic on busy streets.

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DOT plans to spend $500,000 for software that will synchronize the traffic lights on 41st Street in Sioux Falls. The system will monitor the volume of vehicles and continuously make adjustments in response to traffic conditions.

“They would all be interconnected,” Joel Jundt, DOT’s director of planning and engineering, told members of the state Transportation Commission on Thursday. “It will be the first one in South Dakota.”

He said purchasing another set of the software for Omaha Street in Rapid City is under consideration.

He said motorists should spend less time at stoplights and safety should improve, based on the experiences in other states.

“It’s a true and tried initiative,” Jundt said.

Commissioners seemed intrigued by the system’s potential. “Sounds like fun,” remarked Ralph Marquardt, of Yankton. “Just stay off it the first day,” replied Rod Fouberg, of Aberdeen.

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