The City Council, Mayor, and City Manager of Sioux Center want to expand Highway 75 to 5 lanes. Most Sioux Center residents are against this plan for the following reasons:
- IT’S AN UNNECESSARY EXPENSE — The project is slated to cost over $6 Million. Most of that will come from our tax dollars, either future property taxes (the City portion) or gas taxes (the DOT portion). Since the expansion project was initially planned in 1999, traffic numbers have not increased as projected. Do we really want to mortgage our future for a highway to nowhere?
- IT WILL BE LESS SAFE — Crossing the highway as a pedestrian is dangerous enough now. Imagine what it will be like with 2 more lanes! It’s an established fact that the number of crashes with serious injuries or deaths will go up significantly with 4-5 lanes. Numerous studies have borne this out, including our own experience in Sioux Center over the past decades. We reduced accidents by 57% and fatalities by 100% when we decreased Main Ave. from 4 lanes to 3. We won an award and became a national success story by doing that. Is adding 2 wise and worth the risk?
- TREES — One of Sioux Center’s greatest assets is its beautiful tree-lined corridor. Most of those trees would have to be removed to make way for the highway. Trees have many benefits to a street and community, including a natural traffic calming effect. When they are taken out, drivers speed more. Trees also increase property values, walking, local shopping, and security. They catch a lot of rainwater too, keeping it from overwhelming sewers that can be stretched to capacity the more pavement a city has.
- WE WILL LOSE PARKING — It is already difficult enough to find a place to park when patronizing our downtown businesses. Imagine if all or most of the parking spots on the highway were lost. Where would we park? Where would we shop?