Sioux Center, Iowa — A citizens’ group in Sioux Center has mounted a serious campaign against a proposed expansion of their Main Street, citing safety risks and pointing out what they claim are errors in the numbers the city is using. The city council wants to expand Highway 75 from three lanes to five where it cuts through the heart of the city.
The group, calling themselves, “Sioux Center Citizens for Responsible Growth” says the proposed expansion is costly, regressive, unnecessary, and poses a threat to safety and quality of life in Sioux Center.
Dozens of residents went door-to-door on Saturday to nearly 2,000 homes in Sioux Center, distributing flyers urging residents to come out to the city’s final informational meeting on the proposed expansion. The meeting takes place Wednesday, March 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the Terrace View Events Center in Sioux Center.
Highway 75 runs through Sioux Center’s downtown commercial district, and the city and DOT partnered to reduce it from four lanes to three in 1999 because of the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths on that stretch of the street. Still, the city began planning for an expansion to five lanes, assuming traffic would outgrow the three-lane solution.
But, according to the citizen’s group, the city’s predictions were wrong, and instead of hitting 16,000 vehicles per day as predicted in 2007, traffic is now only in the 11,000 to 12,000 range, having decreased each of the last three times it was measured, in spite of healthy population growth and economic growth.