STURGIS, S.D. – It’s early, but indications are this year’s rally is a little bit bigger than last year.
According to preliminary data from the South Dakota Department of Transportation, there was a 6-percent increase in vehicles traveling the roads into Sturgis over the first weekend.
The D-O-T has counters at nine locations around Sturgis, and says the first weekend saw 215,835 vehicles coming into town. That compares to 203,334 vehicles the first weekend in 2016.
The D-O-T is also gathering traffic numbers on Fort Meade Way this year. That is the gravel road connecting the Buffalo Chip Campground to the Interstate. The D-O-t counted 48,489 using the road on Friday, 54,254 on Saturday and 54,425 on Sunday.
The city of Sturgis says their numbers also show this year’s rally to be a bit bigger than 2016.
Mayor Mark Carstensen says it’s been a good year so far.
Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says year-to-date garbage statistics show that tonnage of garbage collected is up about 7-percent over last year.