Traffic growing pains at the Shops at Lake Lorraine

Sioux Falls, SD (KSFY) The new shops at Lake Lorraine welcomed three new stores this week.

Marshalls, HomeGoods and Carters OshKosh celebrated their grand openings Thursday. Ross and Hobby Lobby opened earlier this month.

All those stores are generating a lot of new traffic to the area and some growing pains for drivers.

“You can see that traffic backs up into the turn lane and goes into the straight lane, so you can hear horns honking and people getting mad,” Sioux Falls Ford General Sales Manager Rob Bunn said.

“The increase of traffic coming off the interstate and making the left turn to come into the development increased significantly, causing quite a bit of impact on 26th Street,” Sioux Falls’ Principal Traffic Engineer Heath Hoftiezer said.

Hoftiezer said the traffic on Lorraine Drive into the new complex has more than doubled this month.

“We moved in in May and the traffic around here has just picked up like crazy,” Bunn said. “We've got quite a bit more drive through traffic coming in through our lot, and on 26th Street and of course to Lake Lorraine here.”

“As the new businesses open, we're trying to see how traffic reacts and how we need to deal with some timing changes,” Hoftiezer said.

One of the big growing pains has been the intersection of Lorraine Drive and Lake Shore Boulevard. City officials are now working to educate drivers on how to properly use the intersection.

“There is no stop sign for Lorraine, but a lot of them are approaching the intersection and they're stopping and it’s causing some problems,” Hoftiezer said.

On Lake Shore Boulevard, city traffic workers have increased the size of the stop signs, added plaques that say ‘cross traffic does not stop’ and bright orange flags to draw attention to the signs.

“Then on Lorraine we put up some temporary message boards to put out the information that thru traffic does not stop,” Hoftiezer said.

If the flow of traffic does not improve at this intersection, Hoftiezer says they may change it into a four-way stop; however, with all of the traffic on Lorraine, he said it’s not the most efficient use of the intersection.
It is just one of several intersections impacted by the new Lake Lorraine shopping center that city traffic officials will continue to study over the next few weeks.

“We'll be out taking counts, observing what’s going on, how many people are turning, if cars are stacking up,” Hoftiezer said. “Whenever we have businesses or shopping centers that change patterns, we’re always out trying to see what’s going on, see what’s changed in traffic and see what we need to change and update to make it safe for everyone.”

City officials say the new shops at Lake Lorraine are impacting traffic on 26th and 41st streets, Marion Road and I-29. But the traffic growing pains should be fixed or at least smoothed out over the next few weeks.