The City of Pierre’s Electric Department recently installed a camera at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Euclid Avenue to improve traffic flow.
“It basically sees when traffic is starting to back up at that intersection and then initiates a traffic light change,” said Brad Palmer, Utilities Director.
The city previously had in-ground sensors on the west side of the intersection to initiate a light change. However, Palmer says that the in-ground solution wasn’t working well.
“We heard from a number of our citizens that traffic wasn’t flowing at that location. They told us traffic was backing up for those who were eastbound on Elizabeth,” said Palmer. “They were right. Drivers needed to nose uncomfortably far into the intersection to trigger the sensor.”
According to Palmer the city has in-ground sensors at a number of other locations and hasn’t previously had issues with them. There are a number of other cameras used for traffic flow around Pierre. Though those cameras are maintained by city staff, they are owned by the South Dakota Dept. of Transportation.
“We’re glad the community brought the concern forward,” said Pierre Mayor Steve Harding. “It was a relatively easy fix that we were happy to make once we knew there was an issue.”
The Elizabeth Euclid intersection serves as a major artery for east-west traffic in Pierre. Its traffic count peaks during the morning and afternoon work commutes as drivers make their way to and from the state capitol complex and the schools located in central Pierre.