Council to consider adding three downtown Mitchell intersections to streetscape design

Under the proposed agreement, intersections at Second Avenue and Main Street, Fourth Avenue and Main Street and Railroad Street and Main Street would welcome bump outs and landscape features.

Shown here is one of the bump out features along the Sixth Avenue and Main Street intersection.
Republic file photo

MITCHELL — The Mitchell City Council will consider approving an agreement on Monday that would pave the way for three intersections on Main Street to undergo design work as part of the streetscape project.

Intersections at Second Avenue and Main Street, Fourth Avenue and Main Street and Railroad Street and Main Street are included in the design agreement the council will consider during Monday's meeting. Initially, the council was considering approving design work to take place at two downtown intersections, but it was recommended by council member Susan Tjarks to add the Railroad Street and Main Street intersection to the agreement.

The council will vote on the streetscape design proposal during the 6 p.m. meeting on Monday at City Hall.

According to Public Works Director Joe Schroeder’s memo to the council, the addition of the Railroad Street and Main Street intersection will bring the design costs for all three intersection to $177,895, marking a $59,606 increase from the previous cost.

Rough drafts of the design exhibits show the trio of intersections with bump out features at all four corners. The bump outs will mimic that of what’s at the Sixth Avenue and Main Street intersection across the street from the Corn Palace.


City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein said the Railroad and Main intersection is the last part of the overall streetscape plan for intersection enhancements. The council will consider adding the Railroad and Main intersection to the design agreement at a future meeting.

The council recently approved a $663,573 construction bid for the bump outs and landscape features to be implemented at the Third Avenue and Main Street intersection. The project is estimated to be finished in 2024.

Although several council members indicated their support for adding a third interaction to the streetscape design, not all are on board with the project.

Councilman Dan Sabers, who owns a downtown Mitchell property, voiced his concerns at the March 20 meeting about the loss of Main Street parking that will result from adding more intersections to the streetscape project plan.

“I don’t get it. We lose eight parking spots on a double (sided feature) like we have on Sixth Avenue. I tried to pull into the 15-minute parking spot, and with a full-sized car it’s impossible,” Sabers said at the March 20 meeting. “People must not think we have a downtown parking shortage.”

In previous streetscape discussion, Schroeder said the proposed bump out features of the layout at the intersections could eliminate one to two parking spots per corner. That equates to a loss of four spots at minimum and eight spots on the high end.

While the project has reignited discussions about parking concerns along Main Street, Mitchell Main Street and Beyond, a nonprofit organization, has urged the council to continue making progress on the downtown streetscape plan.

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“People must not think we have a parking shortage. I think they should drive by in the middle of the day,” Mitchell City Councilman Dan Sabers said of the streetscape features.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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