Heron Lake Okabena Safe Routes to School Plan

January

2016

This multi-jurisdictional plan includes Independent School District #330 (Heron Lake Okabena School District) and the Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena. This project was supported by a Safe Route to School Grant Award awarded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Prepared by Southwest Regional Development Commission

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For more information regarding the Heron Lake – Okabena Safe Routes to School Plan, contact:

Heron Lake Okabena School District #330

124 N Minnesota Avenue Okabena, MN 56161 Phone: 507- 853-4507 Fax: 507- 853-4642

Southwest Regional Development Commission 2401 Broadway Ave, Ste 1 Slayton, MN 56172

Phone: 507.836.8547

Fax: 507.836.8866

www.swrdc.org

Dave Cowan, SRTS Coordinator Contact for: General SRTS, planning, non-infrastructure grants and solicitations 395 John Ireland Blvd St. Paul, MN 55155 651-366-4180 dave.cowan@state.mn.us

Mao Yang, State Aid for Local Transportation Contact for: SRTS engineering, infrastructure grants and solicitations 395 John Ireland Blvd St. Paul, MN 55155 651-366-3827 mao.yang@state.mn.us

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Table of Contents

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

Introduction……………….…………………………………………………………………………………. 1

Purpose………………….………………….…………………………………………………………………. 1

Benefits………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 – 3

Geographic Location……………………………………………………………………………………… 4

Heron Lake – Okabena School District……………………………………………………………. 5

Map of Heron Lake & Okabena……………………………………………………………………… 6, 7

CHAPTER II: Planning Process

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8, 9

Background & Vision………………………………………………………………………………………. 9, 10

Participation in Plan Development………………………………………………………………… 10

Description of the Planning Process………………………………………………………………. 11 – 13

Public Involvement………………………………………………………………………………………… 13

CHAPTER III: Existing Conditions

Existing Health Issues……………………………………………………………………………………. 14 – 16

Traffic Volumes……………………………………………………………………………………………… 16 – 18

Crash Data………….………………………………………………………………………………………….. 18 – 20

Existing Conditions Heron Lake Elementary School………………………………………… 20 – 26

Existing Conditions HLO Secondary School…………………………………………………….. 26 – 29

Existing SRTS Programs………………………………………………………………………………….. 29 – 31

Student Arrival and Departure Travel Tally Results………………………………………… 31 – 37

Parent Survey Results……………………………………………………………………………………. 38 – 39

Public Transportation…………………………………………………………………………………….. 39

CHAPTER IV: GOALS & Strategies

Introduction & Vision…………………………………………..……………………………………… 40

Heron Lake – HLO Elementary School…………………………………………………………. 41 – 61

Additional Goals – HLO Elementary School…………………………………………………. 61 – 63

Okabena – HLO Secondary School………………………………………………………………. 64 – 75

Additional Goals – HLO Secondary School…………………………………………………… 76, 77

Complete Street – Heron Lake & Okabena…………………………………………………. 78, 79

CHAPTER V: PLAN MAINTENANCE

Plan Maintenance………………………………………………………………………………………... 80

Monitoring, Evaluating & Updating the Plan………………………………………………… 80

Continued Public Involvement…………………………………………………………………….. 80

Additional Goals & Strategies..…………………………………………………………………….. 80

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 80, 81

APPENDIX

A. Example Complete Streets Policy – Heron Lake……………………………………………. 82 – 85

Example Complete Streets Policy – Okabena….……………………………………………. 86 – 89

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B. Student Travel Tally Surveys………………………………………………………………………. 90 – 94

C. Parent Surveys……………………………………………………………………………………………. 95 – 104

D. Existing Conditions Map – HLO Elementary School………………………………………. 105, 106

Existing Conditions Map – HLO Secondary School………………………………………… 107, 108

E. Work Plan Progress Table……………………………………………………………………………… 109

F. HLO Elementary School Drop-off & Pick-up Policy………………………………………… 110

G. No Parking – Written Warning.…………………………………………………………………….. 111

H. Bus Driver Handout – HLO Secondary School………………………………………………. 112

I. No Parking Policy – HLO Secondary School………………………………………………….. 113

J. Walking Audit Survey……………………………….………………………………………………….. 114, 115

K. Handouts………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 116 – 121

FIGURES

Figure #1 Minor Civil Divisions, Jackson County……………………………………………… 4

Figure #2 City of Heron Lake – Map ……….……………………………………………………… 6

Figure #3 City of Okabena – Map….……………………………………………………………….. 7

Figure #4 Traffic Volumes 2010 – Heron Lake….…………………………………………….. 17

Figure #5 Traffic Volumes 2010 – Okabena …………...……………………………………… 18

Figure #6 Crash Data – Heron Lake…………………………………………………………………. 19

Figure #7 Crash Data – Okabena….…………………………………………………………………. 20

Figure #8 Gaps in Pedestrian Infrastructure – HLO Elementary School……..…… 23

Figure #9 Heron Lake Sidewalk Map………………………………………………………………. 24

Figure #10 Okabena Sidewalk Map….………………………………………………………………. 28

Figure #11 Drop-off & Pick-up Loop – HLO Elementary School………………………… 41, 42

Figure #12 Bus Loop – HLO Elementary School……………………………………………….. 43

Figure #13 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon…………………………………………………. 46

Figure #14 HLO Elementary School Sidewalk Gap…………………………………………….. 47

Figure #15 Triangle Walking Route – Heron Lake……………………………………………… 48

Figure #16 No Cell phone Use While Driving Zone……………………………………………. 50

Figure #17 Road Art Examples………………..………………………………………………………… 51, 73

Figure #18 Crosswalks to be Painted with Road Art – HLO Elementary School…. 52

Figure #19 No Parking – Written Warning…………………………………………………………. 53

Figure #20 10th Street Sidewalk Gap……….…………………………………………………………. 54

Figure #21 Remote Drop-off& Pick-up Loop – HLO Elementary School……………… 56

Figure #22 A&B Walking Square – Proposal #1 – Heron Lake…………………………………….. 58, 59

Figure #23 A&B Walking Square – Proposal #2 – Heron Lake…………………………………….. 60, 61

Figure #24 HLO Elementary School Delivery Policy…………………………………………….. 63

Figure #25 School Zone Signage Map – HLO Secondary School………………………….. 64

Figure #26 Buses Only Parking – HLO Secondary School…………………………………….. 66

Figure #27 Parking Issues – HLO Secondary School…………………………………………….. 68

Figure #28 Parking Policy – HLO Secondary School…………………………………………….. 70

Figure #29 Bumpout (Curb Extension) Visibility Comparison….………………………….. 71

Figure #30 Bumpout Example……………………………………………….………………………….. 72

Figure #31 Crosswalks to be Painted with Road Art – HLO Secondary School…….. 74

Figure #32 Heron Lake – Okabena Pedestrian Trail…………………………………………….. 75

Figure #33 HLO Secondary School Delivery Policy……………………………………………….. 77

Figure #34 Decision Makers Checklist: Built Environment……….………………………….. 81

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TABLES

Table #1 Adult Obesity – Jackson Co, MN & US……………………………………………… 14

Table #1 Trends in Childhood Obesity & Overweight.…………………………………… 15

Table #3 Walkability Survey, Arrival – HLO Elementary School………………………. 22

Table #4 Walkability Survey, Departure – HLO Elementary School……………….. 22

Table #5 Walkability Survey, Arrival – HLO Secondary School………………………… 27

Table #6 Walkability Survey, Departure – HLO Secondary School………………… 27

Table #7 Travel Tallies – Fall 2012 – HLO K – 8th Grade…………………………………. 32

Table #8 Travel Tallies – Spring 2013 – HLO K – 8th Grade…………………………… 33

Table #9 Travel Tallies – May 2014 – HLO K – 5th Grade………………………………… 34

Table #10 Travel Tallies – May 2014 – HLO 6th – 8th Grade………………………………. 35

Table #11 Travel Tallies – April 2015 – HLO K – 5th Grade………………………………… 36

Table #12 Travel Tallies – April 2015 – HLO 6th – 8th Grade……………………………… 37

Table #13 Arrival & Departure Summary………….……………………………………………… 37

Table #14 A&B Parent Survey – April 2015 – HLO K – 5th Grade………………………………. 38, 39

Table #15 Effects of Vehicle Speed on Pedestrian Fatalities…………………………….. 44, 67

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

Introduction

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) plans are community plans to promote an active lifestyle for all residents. The focus of SRTS plans are on teaching children pedestrian and bicycle safety, making the environment safer for children to walk and bicycle to school and around the community, and promote a healthy lifestyle. The SRTS plan encourages children and the community as a whole to walk, bike, and be more physically active. By promoting a more active lifestyle, there are a number of positive externalities that include: reduced traffic congestion near schools and in the community, better air quality around schools and in the community, and an overall healthier community.

What is Safe Routes to School? According to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership:

“Safe Routes to School is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools. The program has been designed to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools. Safe Routes to School can also play a critical role in reversing the alarming nationwide trend toward childhood obesity and inactivity.

In 1969, approximately 50 percent of children in the US walked or bicycled to school, with approximately 87 percent of children living within one mile of school walking or bicycling. Today, fewer than 15 percent of schoolchildren walk or bicycle to school. As a result, kids today are less active, less independent and less healthy.”1

Purpose

“The goal of Safe Routes to School is to get more children bicycling and walking to schools safely on an everyday basis.”2 This goal starts with bringing the community together around a shared vision of being more active and healthy. Using the five E’s (evaluation, education, encouragement, engineering, and enforcement), schools can be the starting place to build momentum towards the shared vision of a more pedestrian-friendly community. The SRTS planning process helps to bring interested groups and individuals together to improve the built environment and to increase opportunities for healthy physical activity for everyone.

Benefits

There are a number of individual and community benefits of incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. Active Living is a way of life that integrates physical activity into your daily routine. This can start with making small trips. An example is walking between stores instead of driving from one end of Main Street to the other.

1 Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Accessed: 12/26/14. Available: http://saferoutespartnership.org/about/history/what-is-safe-routes-to-school

2 Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Accessed: 12/26/14. Available: http://saferoutespartnership.org/about/history/what-is-safe-routes-to-school

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Health Benefits

Walking and biking are two of the most popular ways to integrate regular physical activity into your daily routine. “Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:”3

Control your weight

Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease

Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome

Reduce your risk of some cancers

Strengthen your bones and muscles

Improve your mental health and mood

Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you're an older adult

Increase your chances of living longer

Transportation Benefits

Communities that have pedestrian scale infrastructure and programs promoting walking and biking tend to be more physically active. “People who live by trails are 50 percent more likely to meet physical activity guidelines.”4 Adding pedestrian infrastructure and promoting walking and biking will help to reduce:

Roadway congestion

Time wasted stuck in traffic

Driver frustration

Pollution

“Roadway improvements to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists also can enhance safety for motorists. For example, adding paved shoulders on two-lane roads has been shown to reduce the frequency of run-off-road, head-on, and sideswipe motor vehicle crashes.”5

Economic Development Benefits

Economic Development does not have one singular definition. Attracting businesses is only one strategy for economic development. Another strategy is to concentrate on attracting and retaining residents.

3 CDC. The Benefits of Physical Activity. Accessed: 1/22/15. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/

4 Active Living Research. Accessed: 1/22/15. Available: http://activelivingresearch.org/files/ALR_Brief_ActiveTransportation_0.pdf

5 University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. Accessed: 1/22/15. Available: http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet.cfm

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Part of that strategy is planning for pedestrians and developing community facilities. Supporting walking and biking can have a positive impact on attracting and retaining residents, businesses, and workers. Compact, walkable developments provide economic development benefits through increased property values, enhanced marketability, and faster sales than conventional developments.6

The National Realtors Association points to the changing behavior of home buyers, “people prefer to live in communities that allow them to walk to shops, parks and other destinations and will pay more for a home that allows them to do just that.”7 First time home buyers are looking for neighborhoods and cities that are more walkable. “Millennials, though, are just part of the picture. As baby boomers get older, many are opting to live in places where they don’t have to drive as much to get to services and where they can age in place.”8 This is a national trend and Southwest Minnesota needs to recognize livability, walkability, and bikeability as economic development tools.

Environmental Benefits

Newer developments in cities have moved away from sidewalks on both sides of the street, having garages facing the alleyway behind the house, and having similar sized lots. This creates a disincentive to walk and bike and decreases the interconnectedness of the community. A study conducted by the University of British Columbia found that lowering neighborhoods’ walkability increases the use of motor vehicles and, therefore, raises the air pollution and body mass index per capita.9 Cul-de-Sacs were also found to decrease the walkability of a neighborhood.

Motor vehicle traffic generated by travel to and from school adds 20 to 30 percent more traffic volume to the roads.10 Replacing short trips with walking or biking can help reduce air pollution and energy consumption. There are also a number of health benefits (refer to health benefits above).

6 Transportation Policy Institute: Accessed: 1/22/15. Available: http://www.vtpi.org/walkability.pdf

7 National Realtors Association. The Value of Walkability. Accessed: 5/13/15. Available: http://www.realtor.org/newsroom/real-estate-story-ideas/the-value-of-walkability Source: Brookings Institute: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/05/25-walkable-places-leinberger

8 Builder Magazine. Why Smart Builders Care About Walkability. Accessed: 5/29/15. Available: http://www.builderonline.com/land/development/why-smart-builders-care-about-walkability_o

9 Environmental Health Perspectives. Healthy Neighborhoods: Walkability and Air Pollution. Accessed 1/22/15. Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2801167/

10 Safe Routes to School Guide. Accessed: 1/22/15. Available: http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/pdf/SRTS-Guide_Introduction.pdf

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Geographic Location Jackson County is located in southwest Minnesota and has a land area of 696 square miles.11 The county is bordered on the north by Cottonwood County, on the south by the State of Iowa, on the east by Martin County, and on the west by Nobles County. Cities within Jackson County include: Alpha, Heron Lake, Lakefield, Jackson, Okabena, and Wilder. In addition, the county has four unincorporated communities— Bergen, Petersburg, Spafford, and Sioux Valley.

Heron Lake - Okabena Schools are located in the Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena. Heron Lake and Okabena are located in the southwest corner of Minnesota and are roughly 4 miles apart on County Highway 9. Heron Lake has a total area of 1.3 square miles, and Okabena has a total area of 0.2 square miles. The population of Heron Lake was 698 in the 2010 census. The population of Okabena was 188 in the 2010 census.12

Figure #1 Minor Civil Divisions – Jackson County

11 Department of Employment and Economic Development. Accessed: 5/29/13. Available: http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/apps/lmi/rws/default.aspx

12 United States Census. Accessed: 12/26/14. Available: http://factfinder.census.gov

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Heron Lake Okabena School District

Independent School District #330 is a rural school district that spans Jackson, Nobles and Cottonwood counties and runs along historic North and South Heron Lake. The informal name for the school district is Heron Lake Okabena. The pre-k through 6th grade elementary is located in Heron Lake at 321 Stearns Ave. The elementary enrollment is 144 students and has a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio. At the elementary school the district maintains an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, and softball field. The baseball and football fields are also located in Heron Lake, conveniently along highway 60. HLO Secondary School is located four miles to the south in Okabena at 124 N. Minnesota Ave. The secondary school enrollment is 205 students in grades 7-12, and the student-to-teacher ratio is 12:1. The high school has a progressive up-to-date multi-media center and an agricultural center consisting of classrooms, a greenhouse, and a shop large enough to house modern farm equipment.

HL-O Elementary School HLO Secondary School

321 Stearns Ave. 124 N. Minnesota Ave

PO Box 378 PO Box 97

Heron Lake, MN 56137 Okabena, MN 56161

[507] 793-2307 [507] 853-4507

Heron Lake Street Profile

Within the City of Heron Lake there are roughly 6 miles of city streets, which are maintained by the City. There is an additional 2.5 miles of paved county roads, which are maintained by the Jackson County Highway Department. The vast majority of the streets in Heron Lake are paved. However, some city streets are gravel. The availability of sidewalks in Heron Lake is a positive infrastructure feature, but there are gaps. Refer to the Okabena Sidewalk Map to see the availability of sidewalks in Okabena.

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Figure #2 City of Heron Lake – Map

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Okabena Street Profile

Within the City of Okabena, the majority of the streets are paved and have curb and gutter. However, some city streets, primarily on the southwestern and north borders of Okabena are gravel. The availability of sidewalks in Okabena is a positive infrastructure feature. Refer to the Okabena Sidewalk Map (Figure #10) to see the availability of sidewalks in Okabena.

Figure #2 City of Okabena

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CHAPTER II: PLANNING PROCESS

Introduction

The SRTS planning process is a comprehensive approach designed to bring together the school and the community around a shared vision to improve pedestrian safety and promote an active lifestyle. This starts with bringing together the decision makers, students, parents, school staff, and community residents to identify their vision for the SRTS Plan. A SRTS Plan is the schools, cities, and communities plan, so their input is critical throughout the planning process.

The planning process uses the five E’s to create a comprehensive approach. The five E’s are evaluation, education, encouragement, engineering, and enforcement. The planning process starts and ends with a pre and post evaluation. You have to study, understand, and evaluate the current conditions, so you can create an effective strategy for addressing the current issues. After your plan has been implemented, a thorough evaluation should be included. The post evaluation provides evidence of the success or failure of the plan. The HLO SRTS Team used “The Five E’s” to formulate a strategy revolving around safety to analyze the issues and barriers in promoting a more active lifestyle in Heron Lake and Okabena. A specific strategy may overlap and include more than one E.

Evaluation provides the backbone in creating a SRTS Plan. By evaluating the existing conditions and outlining possible options to address the problems, the HLO SRTS Team, HLO School District, and the Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena will be better able to understand the entire situation. Bringing together all the quantitative and qualitative data from the Parent Surveys, Travel Tally surveys, Walking and Bike Audits, Walkability Survey, input from meetings, and WikiMapping will help the SRTS Team to look at the issues from different perspectives (refer to page 11 for more information regarding WikiMapping). Also, bringing together this information in one plan will make the data more useable for all the parties involved.

Education is a major component of a SRTS Plan. Education is not only for students but also for parents, school staff, and residents. The educational component can include: teaching students proper safety protocol when walking and bicycling; teaching children how to handle potentially dangerous situations; educating the public about right-of-way laws and sharing the road with bicyclists; educating children and the community about recommended routes in the community that are safer and pedestrian friendly; and educating residents about the benefits of walking and bicycling along with the risks.

Encouragement revolves around creating an environment where walking and bicycling is a convenient option. This means creating incentives for walking and bicycling and creating disincentives for driving. Making it more convenient may include: having a remote drop off, consolidating bus stops, or implementing a pedestrian development policy. Encouragement should also happen in the classroom and include challenges to see which class can have the highest number of walkers and bikers in a week. Encouragement can take a variety of forms and can target students, parents, school staff, and residents.

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Engineering can consist of different techniques varying from physical improvements to operational improvements. Physical improvements include, but are not limited to: installing bike racks and benches, traffic calming devices, building more sidewalks and trails, curb extensions, building roads that are pedestrian and bicycle friendly, ADA access, and establishing community gardens. Operational improvements include, but are not limited to: New parking protocol (reverse angle parking), creating a drop-off and pick-up policy, school zone traffic separation policy (designating streets strictly for bus drop-off and pick-up), reducing traffic volumes and speeds around school zones, and creating a hands-free policy for cell phones while driving in a school zone.

Enforcement includes partnering with local law enforcement to ensure traffic laws are enforced in school zones. Safety of children when they walk and bicycle to school starts with the community obeying traffic laws and watching out for pedestrians and bicyclists. Maintaining a safe environment is critical in promoting walking and bicycling to school and in the entire community.

Background

In 2014, MnDOT awarded Safe Routes to School (SRTS) planning grants to 103 schools. From 2006 to 2013, MnDOT has awarded $15 million plus to schools for planning grants and infrastructure projects. There has been over $100 Million in project requested since 2006.

“In 2013, MnDOT awarded $4.3 million to local SRTS projects in more than 60 communities. Thirteen infrastructure projects, nine implementation grants, and 37 schools are currently working on planning using this funding to plan or implement SRTS programs. These grants went to 80 schools statewide with a combined student population of more than 60,000 students.”13 More than 130,000 students have been reached by the Minnesota SRTS Program between 2006 and 2012.

Heron Lake – Okabena (HLO) School District received a planning grant in 2014. The main deliverable of the grant is a finalized SRTS Plan covering the Elementary in the City of Heron Lake and the Middle/High School in the City of Okabena. The time period of the grant occurs from the starting period in August 2014 through June 30, 2016. The planning process for the HLO SRTS Plan was conducted by the Southwest Regional Development Commission (SRDC) and Heron Lake Okabena School Administration in accordance with current guidance provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Heron Lake Okabena School District Mission:

Heron Lake -Okabena School’s Mission shall be achieved by aggressive pursuit of the following goals:

· Effective partnerships between staff, students, parents, and community

· Personal and professional staff development

· Integration of technology in all curriculum areas

13 MnDOT. Safe Routes to School History. Accessed: 12/26/14. Available: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/saferoutes/grants.html

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· Experimental learning

· Safe environment for all

· Respect for cultural diversity and individual worth

· Integration of Graduation Standards

· Cooperative team effort

· Alternative financial resources

· Instill a never ending desire to learn

Heron Lake Okabena SRTS Program Vision:

“HLO SRTS program is working to build a safe environment for students and community to be physically active to foster academic success and healthy lifestyles.”

Participation in Plan Development

The Heron Lake – Okabena Safe Routes to School Plan was a multiparty effort between the Heron Lake School District, Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Heron Lake Police Department, Jackson County Highway Department, local residents, Cottonwood Jackson Nobles Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), and Southwest Regional Development Commission (SWRDC). Public participation plays a key role in the planning process. We relied on the experience of the SRTS Planning Team and local residents. The Heron Lake - Okabena School SRTS Planning Team (here after referred to as SRTS Team) members comprised a broad representation of the community and their feedback was immensely useful in the development of the plan update.

HLO SRTS Team:

Jason Fisher Dean of Students/Wellness Director

Paul Band HLO Elementary & Secondary School Principal/Parent

Wes Leipold Assistant County Highway Engineer/Public Works

Mr. Tony Fauglid Heron Lake Law Enforcement

Jason Freking Heron Lake Mayor/Parent

Diana Madsen Parent/SHIP/Public Health

Brad Dougherty School Representative

Donna Cook PE & Health Teacher

Jacqueline Knips Jackson County Parks and Trails Director

Brenda Martin-Granstra City of Heron Lake Clerk

Lisa Fest School Board/Parent/Paraprofessional

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Description of Planning Process

HLO SRTS Planning Process Timeline

Kickoff Meeting – September 10, 2014

WikiMapping – Continuous

HLO Elementary School Walking Audit – September 22, 2014

HLO Secondary School Walking Audit – September 29, 2014

HLO Existing Conditions Meeting – November 25, 2014

HLO Action Plan Meeting – January 14, 2015

HLO Draft Review Meeting – November 9, 2015

Kickoff Meeting The first SRTS meeting was held at the HLO Secondary School Library in Okabena on September 10, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. The agenda for the meeting was to present an overview of SRTS; review the scope of work and deliverables; discuss community engagement; develop a vision statement; and schedule a walking audit at the HLO Elementary School and at the HLO Secondary School. The outcomes of the first meeting were: a better understanding of SRTS and the planning process; scheduled walking audits; and a draft vision statement to be finalized at the next SRTS meeting.

WikiMapping WikiMapping is an online public input tool community members can use to identify issues regarding walking and biking in the Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena. Community members can provide input by adding a point or route on an interactive map or by commenting on existing posts. WikiMapping was an effective way of engaging community members who were not able to attend the community meetings.

Community members could add points on an interactive map regarding: barriers to walking and biking, bus and transit stops, existing bike parking, lighting is poor, need bike parking, places I go, problem intersection, school, driving issue, traffic and congestion, and trash issue. Community members could add a route on the interactive map regarding: existing on street bike route, high stress area (speed/ traffic), no sidewalk, on street bike route needed, recreational route, routes I’d like to use, route to and from after school activity, route to and from school, shortcut I use (not a trail or road), or sidewalk in poor condition. When a community member clicks on a point the user can select one of these categories and a box will appear. The user can then write a description of the issue in the box. Other users can click on the point or route and agree, disagree, or abstain with the comment. Other users can also comment on the existing comment.

Walking Audits Walking audits were conducted at the HLO Elementary School on September 22, 2014, and at the HLO Secondary School on September 29, 2014. Walk audit participants were asked to observe arrival and departure and identify: walkers and bikers and issues that would discourage walking and biking to

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school; the bus system and conflicts between pedestrians and parents dropping off and picking up students; crossing guards; bike racks; trails, sidewalks, and paths; intersections, crosswalks, and other pedestrian infrastructure; traffic; and other community infrastructure around the schools. The walking audit was a great opportunity to observe arrival and departure and discuss safety concerns, sidewalk gaps, and other issues.

During the walking audit, participants were asked to quantify arrival and departure based on six categories. The six categories are outlined below. Each question had variables to look for that would help participants rank arrival and departure. General atmosphere is an overall ranking of arrival and departure based on all of the other questions.

Did you have room to walk?

Was it easy to cross the street?

Did drivers behave well?

Could you follow safety rules?

Was your walk pleasant?

General atmosphere (summary of all the categories)

Existing Conditions Meeting The second SRTS meeting was held at the HLO Secondary School Library in Okabena on November 25, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. The agenda for the meeting was to discuss the local issues and concerns that were identified via WikiMapping and conversations with community members. Community members were also able to identify additional issues and concerns that were not identified before the meeting. The first meeting was an opportunity to discuss the existing conditions and voice opinions and concerns regarding walking and biking to school and in the communities of Heron Lake and Okabena.

Action Plan Meeting The third SRTS meeting was held at the HLO Secondary School Library in Okabena on January 14, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. The agenda for the meeting was to discuss potential goals and strategies regarding walking and biking to school and in the communities of Heron Lake and Okabena. There were a number of issues that were identified and discussed at the Existing Conditions Meeting on November 25th. At the Action Plan Meeting, community members were still able to discuss existing conditions that were not identified at the previous meetings.

Draft Review Meeting The fourth SRTS meeting was held at the HLO Secondary School Library in Okabena on November 9, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. The agenda for the meeting was to review the HLO SRTS Plan and finalize the goals and strategies outlined in the plan. At the Draft Review Meeting, community members

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were still able to discuss existing conditions and issues that were not identified in the HLO SRTS Plan. Changes could be made to the plan, but were subject to discussion by the planning team.

Public Involvement

Engaging the community through multiple avenues helped to gather effective public input. Public input was critical to the success of the HLO SRTS Plan. Community members were able to provide input via WikiMapping, parent survey, community meetings, and conversations with school representatives and planning team members.

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CHAPTER III: EXISTING CONDITIONS

Existing Health Issues

Research conducted by the USDA shows that one in three American children are overweight or obese, putting them at risk of preventable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.14 In 2008, the obesity rate in Jackson County was 28.2 percent while the state average was 25.9 percent. The number of residents in Jackson County who were obese in 2008 was 2,342. In 2014, the obesity rate in Jackson County was 30 percent while the state average was 26 percent.15

According to the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey, on a typical day 19 percent of Jackson County 5th graders reported that they spend zero hours going outside, taking a walk, or going for a bike ride. Eighty-one percent of 5th graders reported being physically active for at least 60 minutes per day.16 In 2013, 61 percent of Jackson County 8th grade students reported being overweight or obese.17

Table #1 Adult Obesity – Jackson County, Minnesota & U.S.

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14 Kuphal Kyle and Fodness Mavis. New school meal standards target obesity. Accessed 12/26/14. Available at: http://www.pipestonestar.com/Stories/Story.cfm?SID=38130

15 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. County Health Rankings. Accessed 12/26/14. Available: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/minnesota/2014/rankings/jackson/county/outcomes/overall/snapshot

16 Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota Student Survey. Accessed: 12/29/14. Available: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/chs/mss/countytables/jackson13.pdf

17 Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota Student Survey. Accessed: 12/29/14. Available: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/chs/mss/countytables/jackson13.pdf

18 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. County Health Rankings. Accessed: 12/30/14. Available: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/minnesota/2014/rankings/jackson/county/outcomes/overall/snapshot

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Being overweight or obese not only increases the risk of premature death and many other diseases and health conditions, but there are substantial economic costs as well. There are both direct and indirect costs associated with being overweight or obese. Direct costs are the higher medical costs associated with diagnosing, treating, and trying to prevent conditions related to being overweight or obese.

Indirect costs of being overweight and obese include morbidity and mortality costs such as lost productivity, absenteeism, and premature death. “Based on national estimates, the overall financial burden of obesity in Minnesota in 2006 was estimated at $2.8 billion.”19 The medical costs associated with obesity nationally were estimated at $147 billion in 2008. This translates into a $1,429 higher yearly medical cost for people who are obese over those of normal weight.17

Since the late 1960’s, there has been a dramatic decline in the percentage of students who walk or bicycle to school. Nationally, only 13 percent of students Kindergarten through 8th grade reported usually walking or bicycling to school in 2009, while 48 percent of students kindergarten through 8th grade reported usually walking or bicycling to school in 1969. Distance is a strong indicator associated with how children get to school, but only 35 percent of kindergarten through 8th grade students nationally, who lived within a mile of school, reported usually walking or bicycling to school once a week. In 1969, 89 percent of kindergarten through 8th grade students, who lived within a mile of school, reported usually walking or bicycling to school once a week.20

Table #2 Trends in Childhood Obesity & Overweight

CDC, Nation Center for Health Statistics

19 Minnesota Medicine. The Obesity Challenge. 12/26/14 Available at: http://www.minnesotamedicine.com/PastIssues/December2012/theobesitychallenge.aspx

20 The National Center for Safe Routes to School. How Children Get to School: School Travel Patterns from 1969 to 2009. Accessed: 12/26/2012. Available: http://saferoutesinfo.org/sites/default/files/resources/NHTS_school_travel_report_2011_0.pdf

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Just a decade or two ago, a large number of children were free-range children. These children walked or bicycled around the neighborhood and community being more independent. Increasingly children are dependent on their parents for transportation. Instead of walking or bicycling, children are getting rides. Five to seven percent of vehicle miles traveled and 10 to 14 percent of all personal vehicle trips made in high traffic times in the morning are personal vehicles taking Kindergarten through 8th grade students to school.21

Reducing the number of vehicle trips would create a more efficient, safe, and connected community. Getting children walking and bicycling again is one way to combat inactivity and the dramatic rise in obesity. Addressing obesity through Safe Routes to School and promoting an active lifestyle has a number of positive externalities.

Traffic Volumes

The SRTS Team analyzed traffic volumes from 2010. On County State Aid Highway 49, by the HLO Elementary School, the average daily traffic volume was 500 vehicles in 2010. On County State Aid Highway 9, by HLO Secondary School, the average daily traffic volume was 1450 vehicles in 2010.

21 The National Center for Safe Routes to School. How Children Get to School. Accessed 12/31/2014. Available: http://saferoutesinfo.org/sites/default/files/resources/NHTS_school_travel_report_2011_0.pdf

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Figure #4 Traffic Volumes 2010 – Heron Lake

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Figure #5 Traffic Volumes 2010 – Okabena

Crash Data

The SRTS Team analyzed crash data within a mile of the HLO Elementary School and the HLO Secondary School. Within one mile from the Heron Lake Elementary School, there were 56 vehicle accident reports from April, 2004 through July, 2014. Within one mile from the Secondary School there were 9 vehicle accident reports from April, 2004 through July, 2014. None of the outlined crashes involved a pedestrian. The speed limit in Heron Lake is 30 mph on all residential streets and 15 mph in the alleys. The speed limit in Okabena is 30 mph on all residential streets and 15 mph in the alleys.

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Figure #6 Crash Data – Heron Lake

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Figure #7 Crash Data – Okabena

Existing Conditions Heron Lake Elementary School

Arrival HLO Elementary School

Parent drop off at the HLO Elementary School starts as early as 7:15 a.m. and continues until around 8:00 a.m. The first bell rings at 8:00 a.m. and the final bell rings at 8:05 a.m. There are two doors that are unlocked during arrival that include: the main entrance on the west side of the school and the south door leading to the parking lot.

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Parents primarily drop off students on the south side of the school. There is a turnaround loop where parents loop around parked cars and drop off children. This parking lot/turnaround loop does separate parent traffic from buses, but there are a number of issues the HLO SRTS Team has outlined.

Not all parents drive around the loop first, so their passenger door is closest to the drop off area. This allows students to exit without having to cross in front of vehicles.

There are some areas of conflict between parents dropping off and staff and students who park in the parking lot.

Traffic often gets backed up and there is a limited amount of space for parents dropping off and for staff and parents to park.

There are no crossing guards during arrival.

Deliveries

Sidewalk use

No parking enforcement

Bike/walking lane not continuous

Gaps in pedestrian infrastructure

Buses currently drop off students on the west side of the school. There is a loop with sidewalks connecting to the main entrance and the south entrance. There are buses dropping off elementary school students and picking up middle school and high school students. The bus loop does work well, but there are some issues that need to be addressed including:

Some parents drop off students on the west side of the school in the bus loop when no buses are present.

There is not effective signage limiting the loop to buses during arrival and departure. Traffic separation between buses and parents could be improved.

Students are encouraged to be active before school. There are two paraprofessionals who monitor arrival and supervise the playground before school starts. If the temperature is not below zero, students have the option to play outside on the playground. If it is below zero students are allowed to play in the gym.

The HLO SRTS Team ranked the existing conditions during arrival and departure on a scale of one to 10 (10 being best and 1 being the worst). The categories that were ranked include: general atmosphere, did you have room to walk, was it easy to cross streets, did drivers behave well, could you follow safety rules, and was your walk pleasant. Refer to Appendix J for the survey and the variables that impact each category. Below is a summary of the ranking for arrival and departure.

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Table #3 Walkability Survey, Arrival – HLO Elementary School

General Atmosphere

Room to Walk

Easy to Cross

Drivers Behave Well

Follow Safety Rules

Walk Pleasant

8

9

8

8

8

9

Table #4 Walkability Survey, Departure – HLO Elementary School

General Atmosphere

Room to Walk

Easy to Cross

Drivers Behave Well

Follow Safety Rules

Walk Pleasant

8

9

9

9

8

9

Departure HLO Elementary School

The school day ends at 2:55 p.m. Students that ride the early bus are released first. The early bus drops off students who live in Heron Lake. Walkers and bicyclists are released at 3:00 p.m. The late bus that takes students to the HLO Secondary School is loaded at 3:05 p.m. Students wait for the buses outside at the elementary school if it is nice or inside by the office if it is not nice out. Buses consolidate at the HLO Secondary School to bus students home who live in the country and other cities.

Students that walk or bicycle to school are assisted by crossing guards during departure. There are crossing guards during departure at the intersections of 3rd Street and County Road 49 and 2nd Street and County Road 49. Crossing guards make the intersections safer but traffic speeds and traffic volumes are safety concerns on County Road 49.

Students walking and bicycling to school have to cross County Road 49, so County Road 49 is a barrier for students walking and bicycling to school. Parents often cite County Road 49, as a reason for not allowing their child to walk or bicycle to school. There is existing pedestrian infrastructure around the HLO Elementary School, but some connections are missing.

There is no connection between the nature trail and the bike/walking lane on 2nd Street leading to the school.

There is no connecting sidewalk on 9th Street to the bike/walking lane on 3rd Street.

Ninth Street is a major connector between the HLO Elementary School, the library, City Park, and downtown area. Refer to Figure #9 for the Heron Lake Sidewalk Map.

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Figure #8 Gaps in Pedestrian Infrastructure – HLO Elementary School

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Figure #9 Heron Lake Sidewalk Map

Walking and Bike Zone

The Heron Lake Elementary School has school crossing signage along County Road 49. This signage does not include a reduction in speed. Speeding on County Road 49 has been identified as an issue during the planning process.

Identifying a school crossing provides important information to drivers about the vehicle speed limits, that there is increased pedestrian traffic, and children are in the area. Children may not use proper crossing techniques, so this higher risk area needs to be identified to help increase awareness and safety within the school zone. Well-developed school crossing signage along with enforcement can help to make County Road 49 safer for pedestrians.

Risk to pedestrians can be minimized by having policies in place to reduce traffic congestion near the schools along with having sidewalks, painted crosswalks and bicycle lanes, crossing guards, and effective signage. A number of these are in place at the Heron Lake Elementary School, but improvements can be

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made to increase the safety of children walking and bicycling to school and in the community. Refer to the existing conditions map in Appendix D for more information regarding school zone signage.

There is a walking route called “The Triangle” that would provide excellent connectivity throughout Heron Lake with the elementary school. The Triangle is an outline route, but the overwhelming majority of the route is on the street. A number of residents do not walk along this route because of the lack of sidewalks and pedestrian infrastructure. Traffic speeds and traffic volumes also pose safety concerns for some residents. A trail or sidewalk along County Road (CR) 80 and County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 49 would provide the main routes to the elementary school. The full triangle route is CSAH 49 on the east, CR 80 on the south, and CSAH 24 on the diagonal.

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Crosswalks and Bike/Pedestrian Lanes

There are painted crosswalks by the elementary school along County Road 49 at 2nd Street and 3rd Street and in the south parking lot. Crosswalks are painted annually along with painted bike/pedestrian lanes. There are painted bike/pedestrian lanes along 2nd Street and 3rd Street leading to the school.

Crossing Guards

There are crossing guards on County Road 49 at 2nd Street and 3rd Street. These crossing guards are only out during departure. There are no crossing guards assisting during arrival.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities

Bicycle racks make it convenient and safe to ride and keep your bicycle at school. There is one bike rack on the west side of the elementary school by the main entrance. This bike rack is usually ample, but if biking becomes more prevalent, additional bike racks will be needed.

There is a lack of bike racks throughout the City of Heron Lake. There are no bike racks on 10th Street, which is the main street heading through town. There is one bike rack at the Heron Lake Public Library, but this is an older style bike rack.

Existing Conditions HLO Secondary School

Arrival HLO Secondary School

Arrival at the HLO Secondary School starts as early as 7:15 a.m. with the arrival of elementary school students getting on the bus to go to Heron Lake. High School students start arriving between 7:20 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Buses drop off students at the Secondary School between 7:40 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. along the south side of the school on Market Street. These buses pick up elementary students to transport them to Heron Lake.

There are three doors that are unlocked during arrival that include: the main entrance on the northeast side of the school, the office doors on the south side of the school, and the west door. Parents primarily drop off students by the main entrance and do a U-turn to return to County Road 9. There are a number of issues the HLO SRTS Team has outlined.

There is continual two-way traffic around the school

Speeding and reckless driving around the school

Inexperienced drivers

Traffic Congestion

U-turns by the main entrance

There are no crossing guards during arrival

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Safety at the intersection of Sioux City Avenue and Market Street due to traffic, high school drivers speeding away from school, and it is hard to see if cars are coming with buses blocking the view

Crosswalks not marked or really faded

There are no crosswalks on County Road 9

Having three doors unlocked during arrival

No bike racks

No school zone signage

Parking around school

Intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Market Street

Gaps in pedestrian infrastructure

Traffic separation with buses on the south side of the school works well. Buses only load and unload by the main entrance for sporting events and field trips. Other safety concerns regarding buses include:

There is limited space for all the buses to pull up, so congestion can be an issue

There are no signs identifying the buses only parking during arrival and departure

Buses having to back up to get into position and to leave the bus lineup

Students crossing the yellow line on the sidewalk that separates the student zone and bus zone

Table #5 Walkability Survey, Arrival – HLO Secondary School

General Atmosphere

Room to Walk

Easy to Cross

Drivers Behave Well

Follow Safety Rules

Walk Pleasant

8

8

7

7

7

8

Table #6 Walkability Survey, Departure – HLO Secondary School

General Atmosphere

Room to Walk

Easy to Cross

Drivers Behave Well

Follow Safety Rules

Walk Pleasant

7

8

7

6

7

7

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Departure HLO Secondary School

The school day ends at 3:15 p.m. Everyone is let out at the same time, so departure takes roughly 10 minutes. Students waiting for the buses from Heron Lake can wait inside or outside. High school drivers typically go right to their cars and start driving around. Students who walk or bike to school have to contend with high school drivers. There are very few students who are picked up at the HLO Secondary School.

Traffic is busiest during departure, and especially around St Paul Street and Sioux City Avenue. High school drivers frequently race away from school, so walkers and bicyclist have to watch out for reckless driving. Parents often cite high school drivers, as a reason for not allow their child to walk or bicycle to school. Other issues identified by the HLO SRTS Team include:

Figure #10 Okabena Sidewalk Map

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Walking and Bike Zone

There is no school zone signage around the Heron Lake - Okabena Secondary School. Identifying a school zone provides important information to drivers regarding the likelihood of increased pedestrian traffic and that additional precautions should be made to ensure drivers are observant. Children may not use proper crossing techniques, so this higher risk area needs to be identified to help increase awareness and safety within the school zone. Effective signage along with law enforcement helps to make the school zone safer.

Risk to pedestrians can be minimized by having a policy in place to reduce traffic congestion near the schools along with having sidewalks, painted crosswalks and bicycle lanes, crossing guards, and effective signage. A number of these are in place at the Heron Lake - Okabena Secondary School, but improvements can be made to increase the safety of children walking and bicycling to school. Refer to the existing conditions map in Appendix D for more information regarding signage in the school zone.

Crossing Guards

There are crossing guards at the intersection of Sioux City Avenue and Market Street and at the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Market Street. Even with crossing guards the intersection of Sioux City Avenue and Market Street is an issue. These crossing guards are only out during departure. There are no crossing guards assisting during arrival.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities

There are no bike racks at the HLO Secondary School.

Connectivity and Convenience

Connectivity with the City of Heron Lake could be improved. A trail was proposed in the past to connect Heron Lake and Okabena. This trail would allow students to bike to school safely. The trail will provide a vital link in transporting students and families to schools in both towns. Citizens have expressed concerns of the lack of a safe route between the two towns for persons other than those who drive. The trail will provide safe space for youth to visit friends in both communities and allow a manageable distance to exercise by bike or foot for adults and senior citizens. The trail would be built along farmland and scenic areas of public wetland. The Heron Lake-Okabena trail will provide an alternative transportation mode and recreational experiences that includes biking, in-line skating, hiking and walking for people of all ages.

Existing SRTS Programs

The HLO School District has been active with Cottonwood Jackson Nobles Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). Through their work with SHIP, HLO has started a Walk to School Day event, conducted SRTS surveys, and conducted an informal safety assessment at the Heron Lake Elementary School. The Walk to School Day event has grown over the past two years. The annual Walk to School Day has helped to get the students and parents excited about walking and biking to school. During the spring and fall, there are a number of students who do walk and bike to school.

The SRTS surveys have provided a good baseline for the development of the HLO SRTS Plan. Establishing a baseline before additional SRTS activities are implemented will help to show the effectiveness of the

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strategy. The Heron Lake – Okabena School District will continue to administer the SRTS surveys into the future.

The informal safety assessment at the HLO Elementary School occurred in January 2013. This safety assessment prompted the painting of crosswalks, stripping of bike lanes, and pedestrian safety signage being added to drop off and pick up zones. The safety improvements were done during the summer of 2013. The informal safety assessment was a good first step for the elementary school.

Other Programs

Physical & Health Education

SPARK*

Wellness Policy**

Goal: Physical & Health Education Department – The goal of physical education is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.

Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. HLO School District sees the values of physical activity before, during, and after school. HLO Schools have six standards for educating students in physical and health education. These standards were adopted from the Moving in the Future, AAHPERD, and second edition.

Standard 1: Demonstrates competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Standard 2: Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities. Standard 3: Participates regularly in physical activity. Standard 4: Achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness. Standard 5: Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings. Standard 6: Values physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.

*SPARK – The HLO Elementary School participates in SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids) Elementary Physical Education (PE) Program. SPARK is designed to be more inclusive, active, and fun than traditional PE classes. The curriculum is tailored for different grade levels. SPARK has been shown to have a positive effect on increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity in students, fitness achievement, sport skills development, enjoyment of PE, and overall academic achievement.22

22 McKenzie, T. L., Sallis, J. F., & Rosengard, P. Beyond the stucco tower: Design, development, and dissemination of the SPARK physical education programs. Accessed: 12/30/14. Available: http://www.sparkpe.org/resultsStuccoTower.pdf

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**Wellness Policy – HLO Wellness Policy is administered by the Wellness Committee. The purpose of the HLO Wellness Policy is to assure a school environment that promotes and protects students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

Student Arrival & Departure Travel Tally Results

The classroom tallies asked students how they traveled to and from school for three consecutive days. The tallies provide another quantitative analysis tool to study travel modes to and from school. The HLO Elementary School and the HLO Secondary School administered travel tallies in fall 2012, spring 2013, May of 2014, and April of 2015. The travel tally survey tables can be found in Appendix B.

During the fall of 2012, local SHIP assisted HLO staff in administering the travel tallies to Kindergarten through Eighth Grade students. There were 376 total trips to school and 373 total trips home from school that were part of the analysis. Fifty-three percent of students rode the bus to school and 61 percent rode the bus home from school. Forty percent of students got a ride to school in a family vehicle while only 29 percent got a ride home from school in a family vehicle. One percent of students carpooled to school and three percent carpooled home from school. The percentage of students walking and bicycling to school was six percent and the percentage of students walking and biking home from school was seven percent.

When analyzing the weather conditions and the mode of transportation to and from school, there was not a significant difference in walking or biking when comparing sunny days to overcast days and rainy days. When comparing sunny days to overcast days there was only a one student difference in walking and a one student difference in bicycling. When comparing sunny days to rainy days there was only a one student difference in walking, while the same number of students rode their bike.

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Table #7 Travel Tallies – F all 2012 – HLO K – 8th Grade

During the spring of 2013, local SHIP assisted HLO Kindergarten through Eighth Grade students in conducting the SRTS Travel Tally survey. There were 540 total trips to school and 545 total trips home from school that were part of the analysis. Forty-five percent of students rode the bus to school and 64 percent rode the bus home from school. Forty-two percent of students got a ride to school in a family vehicle while only 22 percent got a ride home from school in a family vehicle. Five percent of students carpooled to school, while only one percent carpooled home from school. The percentage of students walking and bicycling to school was eight percent and the percentage of students walking and biking home from school was 12 percent.

When analyzing the weather conditions and the mode of transportation to and from school, there was a significant difference in walking or biking when comparing sunny days to overcast days. There were twice as many students who walked and biked to school when comparing sunny days to overcast and rainy days.

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Table #8 Travel Tallies – Spring 2013 – H LO K – 8th Grade

In May of 2014, eight classrooms at the HLO Elementary School participated in a classroom SRTS Travel Tally survey. There were 265 total trips to school and 263 total trips home from school that were part of the analysis. Forty-six percent of students rode the bus to school and 67 percent rode the bus home from school. Forty-eight percent of students got a ride to school in a family vehicle while only 23 percent got a ride home from school in a family vehicle. The percentage of students walking and bicycling to school was six percent and the percentage of students walking and biking home from school was eight percent.

When analyzing the weather conditions and the mode of transportation to and from school, there was not a significant difference in walking or biking when comparing sunny days to overcast days. When comparing sunny days to overcast days there was only a three percent difference in walking and a one percent difference in bicycling.

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Table #9 Travel Tallies – May 2014 – HLO K – 5th Grade

In May of 2014, three classrooms at the HLO Secondary School participated in a classroom SRTS Travel Tally survey. There were 93 total trips to school and 94 total trips home from school that were part of the analysis. Sixty-two percent of students rode the bus to school and 66 percent rode the bus home from school. Twenty-six percent of students got a ride to school in a family vehicle while only 23 percent got a ride home from school in a family vehicle. The percentage of students walking and bicycling to school was 12 percent and the percentage of students walking and biking home from school was 11 percent.

When analyzing the weather conditions and the mode of transportation to and from school, all the trips to and from school where made during sunny conditions.

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Table #10 Travel Tallies – May 2014 – HLO 6th – 8th Grade

In April of 2015, six classrooms at the HLO Elementary School participated in a classroom SRTS Travel Tally survey. There were 203 total trips to school and 209 total trips home from school that were part of the analysis. Forty-eight percent of students rode the bus to school and 72 percent rode the bus home from school. Forty-eight percent of students got a ride to school in a family vehicle while only 21 percent got a ride home from school in a family vehicle. The percentage of students walking and bicycling to school was three percent and the percentage of students walking and biking home from school was seven percent.

When analyzing the weather conditions and the mode of transportation to and from school, the trips to and from school where made during rainy or overcast conditions.

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Table #11 Travel Tallies – April 2015 – HLO K – 5th Grade

In April of 2015, three classrooms at the HLO Secondary School participated in a classroom SRTS Travel Tally survey. There were 112 total trips to school and 112 total trips home from school that were part of the analysis. Sixty-six percent of students rode the bus to school and 66 percent rode the bus home from school. Twenty-seven percent of students got a ride to school in a family vehicle while only 19 percent got a ride home from school in a family vehicle. The percentage of students walking and bicycling to school was seven percent and the percentage of students walking and biking home from school was eight percent.

When analyzing the weather conditions and the mode of transportation to and from school, the trips to and from school where made during rainy or overcast conditions.

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Table #12 Travel Tallies – April 2015 – HLO 6th – 8th Grade

Analysis – Travel Tally Surveys

The overwhelming majority of HLO students arrive to and from school via school bus or family vehicle. Travel tally surveys from the fall of 2012 show 93 percent of students Kindergarten through Eighth Grade were arriving to school via school bus or family vehicle. Ninety percent of students Kindergarten through Eighth Grade were departing school via school bus or family vehicle, during the same time period. Surveys from the spring of 2013 paint a similar picture. Eighty-seven percent of students were arriving and departing school via school bus or family vehicle. Surveys from May of 2014 and April 2015 also show that the majority of students are arriving to and from school via school bus or family vehicle.

Table #13 Arrival & Departure Summary School / Grade Date Arrival (bus or family vehicle) Departure (bus or family vehicle) K – 8th Grade Fall 2012 93% 90% K – 8th Grade Spring 2013 87% 87% Elementary May 2014 94% 90% Secondary May 2014 88% 89% Elementary April 2015 96% 93% Secondary April 2015 93% 85% Average

92% 89%

SHIP / SRTS National Database

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Parent Survey Results

The parent survey consisted of 16 questions regarding current travel mode, behavior, and safety perceptions. The report reflected parents' perceptions regarding whether walking and bicycling to school is appropriate for their children. The HLO Elementary School and the HLO Secondary School administered the Parent Survey in April of 2015. Tables from the Parent Survey can be found in Appendix C.

In April of 2015, a parent survey was administered to the parents at HLO Elementary School. The parent survey asked the same question as the travel tally survey regarding the typical mode of arrival and departure from school. The parent survey shows similar results. The overwhelming majority of HLO students arrive to and from school via school bus or family vehicle.

Table #14 A Parent Survey – April 2015 – HLO K – 5th Grade

The parent survey also asked parents to rank issues that affect the decision to not allow a child to walk or bike to/from school. Distance and weather or climate were the two most common responses for why they do not allow their child to walk or bike to school. Speed of traffic along the route and amount of traffic along the route were tied for third for why they do not allow their child to walk or bike to school.

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Table #14 B Parent Survey – April 2015 – HLO K – 5th Grade

In April of 2015, a parent survey was administered to the parents at HLO Secondary School. The response rate of the parent survey at the secondary school was not sufficient to make generalizations. Tables from the Parent Survey can be found in Appendix C.

Public Transportation

Western Community Action transit services are for everyone who needs a ride. Western Community Action serves residents in Jackson County. Public transit buses are lift accessible. Volunteer Drivers also operate their own personal vehicles and are available for trips within our primary area (Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, and Redwood Counties) and to other locations such as the Twin Cities, Rochester, Sioux Falls, SD, Willmar, Mankato, and Worthington. The transit service does what it can to provide rides or to connect you to someone who may be able to help you.

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CHAPTER IV: Goals & Strategies

Introduction

Goals are general guidelines that explain what the HLO SRTS Team wants to achieve. Strategies narrow the general guidelines and define in more detail what the HLO SRTS Team wants to achieve. Strategies are the actual steps to be taken to achieve the goals. A strategy may just be the first step, but the general need for the project is outlined.

The identified Goals and Strategies were created through a joint effort between the Planning Team, parents, city representatives, and community residents. A qualitative approach was used by the planning team to judge and prioritize the mitigation strategies based on perceived costs and benefits. Refer to the Planning Process Chapter for more information relating to the prioritization process.

It should be noted that not every existing issue identified within the Existing Conditions Chapter has a goal outlined below. Goals were combined for certain existing conditions and some issues did not have a definite solution. Identifying the existing condition is the first step in working towards a solution.

The main benefits of the strategies listed below are to improve health, safety, and community connectedness through the five E’s. The Planning Team ranked the projects. This ranking or prioritization will help with directing time and money.

This prioritization does not mean that the first goal has to be accomplished before moving onto another goal. The purpose of the prioritization is to show that the SRTS Team talked about possible options and with unlimited resources, this is what they chose to accomplish first. Due to scarce resources, it may be necessary to start with a goal that has less upfront costs and is relatively easier to implement. The goals and strategies outlined in the HLO SRTS Plan are recommendations, so during implementation modifications may be necessary. Additional engineering work may also be needed before implementation can take place.

Vision

“HLO SRTS program is working to build a safe environment for students and community to be physically active to foster academic success and healthy lifestyles.”

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Heron Lake – HLO Elementary School

Drop off/Pick up Loop

Goal: Improve safety for all users in the drop off and pick up loop at the HLO Elementary School.

Strategy: Reconfigure the drop off and pick up loop and improve signage.

5 E(s): Education, Encouragement, and Engineering

Not all parents drive around the existing drop off and pick up loop in a similar manner. The correct way is to drive around the loop first, so the passenger door is closest to the drop off area. This allows students to exit without having to cross in front of vehicles.

Congestion is an issue in the drop off and pick up loop. Parents that are familiar with the loop help to keep the flow of traffic defined to the correct area. Parents that are not familiar with the loop drive around the loop in the wrong direction, pull into the no parking area, and impede traffic flows. The drop off and pick up loop has been described by parents as chaotic.

Not following the correct protocol in the loop makes it more dangerous for students exiting vehicles on the wrong side of the loop and having to cross the flow of traffic. It is also more dangerous for pedestrians that have to cross the parking lot. Arrival and departure times at the HLO Elementary School are busy and improving traffic separation and the flow of traffic is critical in improving safety for all users.

Having a better written policy and handout explaining the proper protocol is important for compliance and safety. It is also important to improve signage and pavement markings to direct traffic accordingly. The map below outlines the improved drop off and pick up loop at HLO Elementary School.

Figure #11 Drop-off & Pick-up Loop – HLO Elementary School

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The short term parking restriction will only be in place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. HLO school administrators will work with the Jackson County Highway Department to make these improvements and get signage. Refer to Appendix F for the new HLO Elementary School Drop off and Pick up Loop Policy Handout.

Bus Loop Signage

Goal: Increase traffic separation and safety in the HLO Elementary School Bus Loop.

Strategy: Add a buses only sign at the entrance to the bus loop.

5 E(s): Education

A bus loop does exist on the west side of the HLO Elementary School. This bus loop helps to increase traffic separation at the school. Traffic separation in school zones refers to having designated areas for buses, parents dropping off or picking up students, walkers, bikers, and parking. Separating traffic flows more effectively will help to create a safer environment during arrival and departure, which are times of higher traffic volumes.

The majority of parents do not pull into the bus loop when buses are present, but some parents do use the bus loop during arrival and departure when buses are not present. There is not enough space in the bus loop for parent traffic and buses. If a parent is parked in the bus loop, buses have to wait for this parent to leave the bus loop until the bus can pull into the loop. Parents’ using the bus loop during arrival and departure creates a congestion issue, which decreases safety in the school zone.

Adding a buses only sign from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. on school days will direct parents to not use the bus loop during arrival and departure. A buses only sign will be placed by the entrance to the bus loop. HLO school administrators will work with the Jackson County Highway Department to have the buses only sign made.

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Figure #12 Bus Loop – HLO Elementary School

Speed Limit Signage

Goal: Decrease traffic speeds on County Road 49 in the City of Heron Lake.

Strategy: Install a speed limit sign on County Road 49 closer to the residential area on the northwest corner of the City of Heron Lake.

5 E(s): Education and Enforcement

The speed limit sign on County Road 49 coming from the north is by the city limits of Heron Lake out by the ethanol plant. Tony Fauglid, Heron Lake Police Chief, has frequently clocked vehicles traveling over 45 mph in the 30 mph zone by the HLO Elementary School on County Road 49. Chief Fauglid has asked drivers if they knew that the speed limit was 30mph, and a number of drivers have said they did not know the speed limit was 30 mph.

A second speed limit sign is needed closer to the residential area of Heron Lake. This speed limit sign will help to inform drivers of the slower speed limit. Signage is not effective by itself. Random patrols also have to monitor this area.

The Heron Lake Police Department does patrol County Road 49 during arrival and departure when available. Monitoring traffic speeds on County Road 49 is a critical component to keeping the school zone safe for pedestrians. The Heron Lake Police Department will work with the Jackson County

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Highway Department to install a speed limit sign on County Road 49 closer to the residential area on the northwest corner of the City of Heron Lake.

School Zone Speed Limit

Goal: Decrease traffic speeds on County Road 49 in the school zone by the HLO Elementary School.

Strategy: Have a school zone speed limit established in the school zone by the HLO Elementary School.

5 E(s): Education and Enforcement

Crossing County 49 has been identified by multiple parents as a barrier to walking and biking to school. Tony Fauglid, Heron Lake Police Chief, has frequently clocked vehicles traveling over 45 mph in the 30 mph zone by the HLO Elementary School on County Road 49. Traffic speeds are the main issue why crossing County Road 49 has been identified as a barrier to walking and biking to school.

The speed limit on all residential streets in Heron Lake is 30 mph. The intersections at 2nd Street and 3rd Street are the only two crossings on County Road 49 that lead to the HLO Elementary School. Due to the higher levels of pedestrian traffic leading to the school in this area, a school zone speed limit should be established. The HLO SRTS Team recommends a 20 mph speed limit. The speed limit will only be in place from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or when children are present. HLO school administrators will work with the Jackson County Highway Department and the Heron Lake Police Department to establish a school zone speed limit and the duration of the restriction.

Table #15 Effects of Vehicle Speed on Pedestrian Fatalities

Vehicle Speed

Odds of Pedestrian Death, (Source 1)

Odds of Pedestrian Death, (Source 2)

20 mph

5%

5%

30 mph

45%

37%

40 mph

85%

83%

NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit23

23 NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit. Effects of Vehicle Speed on Pedestrian Fatalities. Accessed: 1/5/15. Available: http://humantransport.org/sidewalks/SpeedKills.htm

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School Zone Signage

Goal: Increase safety along County Road 49 by the HLO Elementary School

Strategy: Install a push button activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) at the intersections of 2nd Street and County Road 49 and 3rd Street and County Road 49.

5 E(s): Education, Encouragement, and Engineering

The intersections at 2nd Street and 3rd Street are the only two crossings on County Road 49 that lead to the HLO Elementary School. There are crosswalks and school crossing signage, but the HLO Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Team has still identified these intersections as dangerous intersections. Crossing County 49 has been identified by multiple parents as a barrier to walking and biking to school. These intersections discourage walking and biking to school.

Tony Fauglid, Heron Lake Police Chief, has frequently clocked vehicles traveling over 45 mph in the 30 mph zone by the HLO Elementary School on County Road 49. Traffic speeds are the main issue why crossing County Road 49 has been identified as a barrier to walking and biking to school. County Road 49 is also a truck route to the ethanol plant, so there is a high volume of semi-truck traffic on County Road 49. With higher traffic speeds and truck traffic, stopping times are decreased. Drivers may not see young children crossing the road, until it is too late.

Installing a push button activated RRFB would help to alert drivers that a child is crossing the road. The visibility of the crossing is increased with the RRFB. Drivers will be able to see the flashing beacon easier than a small child. The RRFB is also more effective than a static sign, since it will only be flashing when pedestrians are crossing the road.

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Figure #13 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon

Gaps in Pedestrian Infrastructure – Elementary School

Goal: Increase connectivity within the City of Heron Lake to the HLO Elementary School.

Strategy: Address gaps in pedestrian infrastructure around the HLO Elementary School.

5 E(s): Engineering and Encouragement

The intersections at 2nd Street and 3rd Street are the only two crossings on County Road 49 that lead to the HLO Elementary School. There is existing pedestrian infrastructure around the HLO Elementary School, but some connections are missing. The main gap in pedestrian infrastructure is on 9th Street between the HLO Elementary School, the library, City Park, and downtown area. There is no connecting sidewalk on 9th Street to the pedestrian lane on 3rd Street.

Walkers and bikers who use this route have to walk on the street, which is narrow. The City Park is used as a remote drop off for the annual Walk to School Day event, so all HLO Elementary students have to walk on the street during this event.

The RRFB is a rectangular shaped, high intensity signal head, which flashes in a wig-wag, rapid flickering pattern. The alternating signals provide direct, ultra-bright concentration as well as wide-angle intensity. The beacons are pedestrian activated: push button or passive detection

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This gap has been identified by the HLO SRTS Team as the main gap in the pedestrian network around the HLO Elementary School, but no solution has been identified at this time. A sidewalk would be the preferred option. A painted pedestrian lane is another option, but the road width is an issue. Ninth Street would have to become a one-way street for the painted pedestrian lane to be an option.

Figure #14 HLO Elementary School Sidewalk Gap

The Triangle Pedestrian Trail

Goal: Increase walking and biking within the City of Heron Lake.

Strategy: Construct a pedestrian trail along ‘The Triangle’ walking route.

5 E(s): Engineering and Encouragement

The Heron Lake Triangle is formed by County Road (CR) 80, County State Aid Highways (CSAH) 9 and 24. The Triangle is a popular walking route for residents of Heron Lake. However, many pedestrians have expressed concern over the safety of this route. These county roads are some of the busiest in Heron Lake and currently walkers have to walk on a narrow gravel shoulder when vehicles pass them. There are no sidewalks along this route.

The construction of the Heron Lake Triangle Trail will greatly improve safety for the residents that use this route to get their daily exercise. A trail along CR 80 and CSAH 49 would provide the main routes to the HLO Elementary School and would increase connectivity within the city. The trail will also attract new users, (i.e. bikers, in-line skaters, joggers and families) therefore leading to a healthier community.

The trail will be an attractive facility for the City of Heron Lake which is looking to grow and entice new residents. With the town’s proximity to State Highway 60, a soybean processing plant, and an ethanol

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plant, Heron Lake is expecting to draw new residents to the area. A recreational bike trail will be an appealing amenity for people looking to move to the region. The Triangle will become a selling point in retaining and recruiting residents and businesses in the City of Heron Lake.

The Heron Lake Triangle Trail will include construction of approximately 2 miles of trail parallel to County Road 80 and CSAH 9 and 24. These three roads form a triangle in the City of Heron Lake. Refer to the map below, which depicts the Heron Lake Triangle Trail.

Figure #15 Triangle Walking Route – Heron Lake

SRTS Poster Contest

Goal: Increase support and enthusiasm for the annual Walk to School Day event.

Strategy: Have an annual Safe Routes to School Poster Contest.

5 E(s): Education and Encouragement

The HLO Elementary School participates annually in the National Walk to School Day event. To build support and enthusiasm, students can draw a picture that incorporates Safe Routes to School (SRTS), being active, and being safe. The HLO art teachers can use this class period to assist with the posters and educate students on the benefits of being active and healthy.

The poster contest will allow students to express themselves, which may shed light on an existing issue that may have been overlooked. The posters can be displayed around town at businesses and city hall/community center. These posters will help to educate the community on the annual Walk to School Day event and watching for pedestrians.

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Having an annual poster contest will help the art classes plan for the following year and build support and enthusiasm. Refer to Appendix K for the following two handouts: Tips for Teaching Pedestrian Safety to Children and Tips for Walking Safely to School. These handouts can be used as a teaching guide, while explaining the poster contest to the students. The other handouts in Appendix K can also help to build support for pedestrian safety and improvement projects.

Parent Survey and Travel Tally Survey

Goal: Continue to evaluate walking and biking rates at the HLO Elementary School

Strategy: Annually administer the Safe Routes to School Parent Survey and the Student Travel Tally Survey.

5 E(s): Evaluation

The parent survey consisted of 16 questions regarding current travel mode, behavior, and safety perceptions. The report reflected parents' perceptions regarding whether walking and bicycling to school is appropriate for their child.

The Safe Routes to School Travel Tally Survey asked students how they traveled to and from school for three consecutive days. Weather is one variable that is included in the survey. The tallies provide a quantitative analysis tool to study the percentage of students who are walking, biking, riding the school bus, riding in a family vehicle, carpooling, riding transit, or using another travel mode to get to school.

To evaluate the effectiveness of Safe Routes to School strategies, it is important to annually administer the Parent Survey and the Student Travel Tally Survey. Having existing data and new data annually will allow school staff to do a comparison study.

HLO Administration will work with local Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) staff to administer the surveys annually. The completed surveys will be mailed to the National Safe Routes to School Data Center. The National Center provides many resources and tools to help make collecting, summarizing, and analyzing data as easy and straightforward as possible.

No Cell Phone Use Zone

Goal: Increase safety in the HLO Elementary School Zone.

Strategy: Prohibit cell phone use in the HLO drop off and pick up loop.

5 E(s): Education and Enforcement

School zones are increasingly becoming areas that have a high density of traffic during arrival and departure. Congestion is an issue in the drop off and pick up loop at the HLO Elementary School. During arrival and departure, there are higher traffic volumes. The drop off and pick up loop has been described by parents as chaotic.

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School staff and other parents have observed parents dropping off and picking up students while talking on their cell phone. Distracted driving is a threat to the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. Students have to cross the drop off and pick up loop if they arrive or departure on 2nd Street.

Prohibiting cell phone use in the drop off and pick up loop will help to increase the safety of the loop for all users. “Text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, so it is by far the most alarming distraction.”24 A sign prohibiting cell phone use will be placed at the entrance to the drop off and pick up loop. Refer to the map below for sign location and an example sign.

Figure #16 No Cell Phone Use While Driving Zone

Road Art Campaign

Goal: Increase the safety of pedestrians in the HLO school zones.

Strategy: Implement a district wide road art campaign.

5 E(s): Education and Encouragement

24 Distraction.gov. What is Distracted Driving. Accessed: 1/5/15. Available: http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html

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The majority of striping around the HLO Elementary School happens annually. It is important to maintain the pedestrian infrastructure around the school. Having clearly identified crosswalks, pedestrian lanes, and no parking areas help to make the school zone safer for all users.

The districtwide road art campaign at the HLO Elementary School will consist of filling in existing crosswalks with road art. Road art is one way of making crosswalks more visible and increasing the neighborhood charm of your community. Road art can be unique and may include painting wildcat paws (school mascot), handprints, footprints, or other approved images in the crosswalk.

This road art campaign will encourage students to use crosswalks since they are taking part in the creation of the road art in the crosswalks. There will also be an educational component. While the students are creating the road art, teachers can educate students about proper crossing protocol. This campaign will also educate the public on yielding to pedestrians and slowing down in school zones. Students will create drawings and flyers about what they have learned regarding proper crossing protocol, slowing down in school zones, and vehicles yielding to pedestrians. These drawings and flyers can then be displayed in the windows of different businesses in the community. Below are examples of existing road art in other communities.

Figure #17 Crosswalk Road Art Examples

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Figure #18 Crosswalks to be Painted with Road Art – HLO Elementary School

No Parking Enforcement

Goal: Increase compliance of no parking zones.

Strategy: Increase no parking enforcement by giving warnings and tickets to violators.

5 E(s): Education and Enforcement

There is a no parking zone outlined by the south entrance to the HLO Elementary School. During our walking audit at the HLO Elementary School, a staff person parked in the no parking zone. No parking means, no parking. It only takes one incident for a serious problem to occur and once one person disobeys the rule, others may follow.

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The new drop off and pick up policy outlines the no parking zones on the map. These no parking zones will be enforced by school administrators and the Heron Lake Police Department. Refer to Appendix F for the new HLO Elementary School Drop-off and Pick-up Policy Handout.

A written warning will be given by school administrators for parking in a no parking zone on the first occurrence. The second occurrence will warrant a call to the Heron Lake Police Department and a ticket will be written. The no parking zones have been developed for the safety of pedestrians and drivers in the school zone, so no parking signs and striping should be complied with. The no parking warning handout that school administrators can give to drivers violating no parking rules can be found below or in Appendix G.

Figure #19 No Parking – Written Warning

Gaps in Pedestrian Infrastructure – Destinations

Goal: Increase connectivity within the City of Heron Lake.

Strategy: Address gaps in pedestrian infrastructure.

5 E(s): Engineering and Encouragement

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There is an existing sidewalk network within the City of Heron Lake. Refer to Figure #9 for the Heron Lake Sidewalk Map. A sidewalk network connecting major destinations helps to encourage walking and biking by increasing connectively with the city.

One of the gaps identified by the HLO SRTS Team is between the existing sidewalk on 10th Street and the Cenex Service Station. Tenth Street has the highest average daily traffic volumes of any street in Heron Lake. Currently, pedestrians have to walk and bike on the street to get to the service station. This is a safety issue, due to the high average daily traffic volumes.

This gap has been identified by the HLO SRTS Team as a gap that needs to be fixed. There are sidewalks on both sides of the gap. The SRTS Team recommends constructing a sidewalk in the existing gap.

Figure #20 10th Street Sidewalk Gap – Heron Lake

Remote Drop off

Goal: Increase physical activity levels of students before school

Strategy: Develop a remote drop off on the southwest corner of Elementary School property.

5 E(s): Encouragement and Engineering

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Traffic separation is needed at the HLO Elementary School to address congestion in the southeast parking lot. The drop off and pick up loop is currently in the southeast parking lot. This lot becomes congested during arrival and departure. There are parents dropping off and picking up students. There are also teachers and parent parking in the lot, so space is limited.

Traffic separation is often used to address the safety of pedestrians in school zones. Traffic separation in school zones refers to having designated areas for buses, parents dropping off or picking up students, walkers, bikers, and parking. Separating traffic flows more effectively will help to create a safer environment during arrival and departure, which are times of higher traffic volumes.

Buses are currently separated from the parent drop off and pick up loop, walkers, bikers, and parking. To decrease congestion and separate parent traffic from teacher traffic and parking, a remote drop off should be constructed. The remote drop off and pick up could be constructed next to an existing paved environmental trail.

The paved environmental trail is adjacent to a natural grass area on the southwest corner of HLO Elementary School Property. A remote drop off and pick up in this location would provide a scenic walk to and from school. The remote drop off and pick up would encourage students to walk a block to and from the main entrance to the school. Being more active before and after school will help children achieve the recommended 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day. Students will arrive more focused and ready to learn. HLO school administrators will work with the Jackson County Highway Department to have the ‘Pull Forward Sign’ made. Below is a map depicting the remote drop off and pick up and the Pull Forward Sign.

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Figure #21 Remote Drop-off & Pick-up Loop – HLO Elementary School

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Community Walking Route – The Square

Goal: Increase walking and biking within the City of Heron Lake.

Strategy: Outline a walking route within the City of Heron Lake and stripe a pedestrian lane on the road where sidewalks are missing.

5 E(s): Engineering and Encouragement

There are a number of streets within the City of Heron Lake that have a sidewalk. Currently, the outlined walking route within the city is ‘The Triangle’. The Triangle is an outlined route, but the route utilizes no existing sidewalks and is on some of the busiest county roads in Heron Lake. Residents have expressed concern over the safety of this route. Currently, walkers have to walk on a narrow gravel shoulder when vehicles pass them. There are no sidewalks along this route.

A number of residents do not walk along The Triangle route because of the lack of sidewalks and pedestrian infrastructure. Establishing a route that utilizes the existing sidewalk network will create a safer walking route. Outlining a walking route will encourage residents to use the route. Having a primary walking route will notify drivers of increased pedestrian traffic along the route. Pedestrian amenities, like benches and pedestrian scale lighting, can also be added along the route to make the route more pedestrian friendly.

The HLO SRTS Team outlined two potential walking routes. These routes utilize existing sidewalks, but both routes have a gap that needs to be addressed. A short term fix could be a painted pedestrian lane along the side of the road. Parking would be eliminated where the pedestrian lane was established.

A permanent fix would be filling in these gaps with new sidewalks. This route would be a community walking route, so there would be a community benefit. The city would identify this route and stress the importance of maintaining the route, which includes clearing the route of snow in the winter time. The new sidewalks would be a community project, so the majority of the cost of the project could be paid by the city. This route does utilize existing sidewalks, so it is a more cost effective solution to establish a complete walking loop within the City of Heron Lake.

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Figure #22 A Walking Square – Proposal #1 – Heron Lake

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Figure #22 B Walking Square – Proposal #1 Gaps – Heron Lake

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Figure #23 A Walking Square – Proposal #2 – Heron Lake

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Figure #23 B Walking Square – Proposal #2 Gaps – Heron Lake

Additional Goals – HLO Elementary School

Two additional goals and strategies were developed prior to the ranking of the HLO Elementary School Goals. These goals and strategies were developed as part of the HLO SRTS Planning Process.

The HLO SRTS Plan is a working document. The HLO School District will continue to make updates to the plan. As planning continues, additional recommendations should be made to the Additional Goals and Strategies Chapter.

Bike Safety

Goal: Improve bike safety within the Heron Lake – Okabena School District.

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Strategy: Support the Walk! Bike! Fun! Curriculum.

Purchase promotional gifts for attendees (bike helmets).

Walk! Bike! Fun! is a bike safety curriculum that was developed specifically for Minnesota. “WALK! BIKE! FUN! is a comprehensive curriculum that teaches safe traffic behavior through classroom activities and on-the-bike skills practice. The goals of the extensive lesson plans teach skills to children to walk and bicycle safely — building confidence and helping them stay safe, active, and healthy.”25

Six benefits to walking or biking to school:

To increase academic achievement — research shows that students who exercise before school concentrate better in class.

To increase happiness — children that engage in physical activity are more likely to be happy.

To lower your carbon footprint — a whole school committed to walking and biking can make an enormous impact on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and harmful pollutants.

To help reduce traffic accidents — the benefit of schools that teach walking and bicycling skills result in up to a forty-nine percent decrease in childhood pedestrian and bicycle collision rates.

To foster independence — children who walk or bike to school are more likely to walk to other destinations in the neighborhood.

To increase physical activity — the CDC recommends that

children get sixty minutes of physical activity every day.

Delivery Policy

Goal: Decrease congestion during arrival and departure at the HLO Elementary School.

Strategy: Create a written delivery policy that restricts deliveries during arrival and departure times.

5 E(s): Education and Encouragement

Existing Conditions:

A delivery policy was updated as part of the HLO SRTS Planning Process. The delivery policy is below. The policy outlines times that deliveries will not be accepted. The policy also outlines the doors deliveries are accepted at.

25 Walk! Bike! Fun! Curriculum. Accessed: 4/29/15. Available: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/saferoutes/pdf/toolkit/walk-bike-fun-curriculum.pdf

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Figure #24 HLO Elementary School Delivery Policy

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Okabena – HLO Secondary School

School Zone Signage

Goal: Improve safety for all users in the school zone around the HLO Secondary School.

Strategy: Establish a more defined school by establishing school zone signage around the HLO Secondary School.

5 E(s): Education and Encouragement

There are no school zone signs around the HLO Secondary School. Identifying a school zone provides important information to drivers about the potential for increased pedestrian traffic, children are in the area, and that you should slow down and be more alert. Children may not use proper crossing techniques, so increased driver awareness is critical.

Signage alone only helps to identify a school zone as a higher risk area. Enforcement also plays an important role. School Administrators need to work with law enforcement to ensure periodic patrols are occurring during arrival and departure. This will help to ensure drivers are obeying laws in the school zone and are more aware. Effective signage along with law enforcement monitoring arrival and departure times will make the school zones around the HLO Secondary School safer, which may encourage more walking and biking.

The map below identifies the locations around the school where signage could be located. Administrators at the HLO Secondary School will work with the Jackson County Highway Department to finalize sign locations and to purchase signage.

Figure #25 School Zone Signage Map

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Stop Sign on Minnesota Avenue at the intersection with Market Street

Goal: Improve safety for all users at the intersection of Market Street and Minnesota Avenue.

Strategy: Install a stop sign on Minnesota Avenue at the intersection with Market Street.

5 E(s): Enforcement

The intersection of Market Street and Minnesota Avenue has been identified as a safety issue by the HLO SRTS Team. The only signage at the intersection is a yield sign on Market Street as you are heading east. There is no signage on Minnesota Avenue as you approach Market Street and on Market Street heading west towards Minnesota Avenue.

Not having signage at this intersection creates confusion for drivers. Drivers are not sure if they have the right-of-away or the other driver does. This intersection during arrival and departure is also a very busy pedestrian intersection.

A stop sign on Minnesota Avenue is recommended by the Jackson County Highway Department. A stop sign would help to make the intersection safer for all users. HLO school administrators will work with the Jackson County Highway Department to have the stop sign installed.

Law Enforcement Patrols

Goal: Improve safety for all users in the school zone around the HLO Secondary School.

Strategy: Maintain effective law enforcement presence during arrival and departure.

5 E(s): Education, Encouragement, and Engineering

School zones are increasingly becoming areas that have a high density of traffic during arrival and departure times. Speeding and reckless driving are two major safety concerns in the school zone around the HLO Secondary School. The Secondary School includes grades seven through twelve, so high school drivers are a major safety issue.

High school drivers are inexperienced, so this creates more of a safety risk for students walking and biking to school. Inattentive driving also contributes to the risk to pedestrians. School staff and parents have reported high school drivers speeding away from school. High school drivers have been identified as the primary safety concern around the HLO Secondary School.

The City of Okabena is patrolled by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Random patrols during arrival and departure have been adequate during the 2014-15 school year. The HLO SRTS Team wants to ensure adequate patrols in future school years. The HLO SRTS Team, along with HLO school administrators, have defined an effective law enforcement presence during arrival and departure is four to six patrols each week. A patrol can include arrival or departure. It is important for the patrols to be random, so student drivers cannot plan when law enforcement patrols are going to be present. Warnings and tickets are also a critical component of keeping the school zone safe. Communication between school administrators and law enforcement will ensure patrols are being effective.

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Bus Zone Parking Policy

Goal: Improve pedestrian safety in the bus loading zone at the HLO Secondary School.

Strategy: Add signage and striping to the bus loading zone.

5 E(s): Education

Buses currently load and unload on the south and southeast side of the HLO Secondary School. Middle school and high School students are dropped off and picked up and elementary school students may transfer buses to get to and from the HLO Elementary School. This is a busy bussing area, but there is no buses only signage.

A vehicle parked in this area can disrupt the arrival and departure of buses. Parents familiar with the HLO Secondary School do not park in this area. Parents that are not familiar with the busing zone drop off and pick up students, park, and disrupt the busing system. Not following the correct protocol increases traffic congestion, delays bus routes, and decrease safety for pedestrians.

Bus only signage will help to educate drivers on the bus only zone. The HLO Safe Route to School (SRTS) Team suggests limiting no parking in the bus only zone during arrival and departure times. Arrival is from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Departure is from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bus only signage, similar to the sign below, will be placed along the buses only parking zone outlined below.

To keep signage consistent, a no parking from here to the corner sign is going to be removed when new buses only signs are added. This sign is located on the west side of the school in the bus zone. This sign is faded and is not enforced.

Figure #26 Buses Only Parking – HLO Secondary School

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To ensure that buses park in the correct areas, a handout has been created outlining bus parking spots. Refer to the map below or Bus Driver Handout in Appendix H. If additional buses are need, additional bus parking spots will have to be outlined. Bus parking and the buses only zone will be analyzed annually.

Buses should park in the outlined locations, so crosswalks and intersections are not blocked. Buses should never back up in the buses only zone. The buses only parking is from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. School administrators will help to enforce the buses only parking along with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

School Zone Speed Limit

Goal: Decrease traffic speeds in the school zone around the HLO Secondary School.

Strategy: Have a school zone speed limit established in the school zone around the HLO Secondary School.

5 E(s): Education and Enforcement

County Road 9, Sioux City Avenue, and Market Street have been identified by HLO staff and parents as having higher traffic speeds than the posted 30 mph speed limit. High school drivers speed away from school and this is a safety issue. The speed limit on all residential streets in Okabena is 30 mph. There is currently no reduced speed limit in the school zone around the HLO Secondary School.

Due to the higher levels of pedestrian traffic in the school zone around the HLO Secondary School, a school zone speed limit should be established. The HLO SRTS Team recommends a 20 mph speed limit. The speed limit will only be in place from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or when children are present. HLO school administrators will work with the Jackson County Highway Department and the Jackson County Sheriffs’ Office to establish a school zone speed limit and the duration of the restriction.

Table #15 Effects of Vehicle Speed on Pedestrian Fatalities

Vehicle Speed

Odds of Pedestrian Death, (Source 1)

Odds of Pedestrian Death, (Source 2)

20 mph

5%

5%

30 mph

45%

37%

40 mph

85%

83%

NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit26

26 NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit. Effects of Vehicle Speed on Pedestrian Fatalities. Accessed: 1/5/15. Available: http://humantransport.org/sidewalks/SpeedKills.htm

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Angle Parking Policy

Goal: Improve the safety and mobility in the school zone around the HLO Secondary School.

Strategy: Restripe parking around the HLO Secondary school to be angle parking.

5 E(s): Education and Enforcement

There are issues with high school drivers parking inappropriately in the HLO School Zone. High school drivers back into parking spots not designed for back angle parking. Backing into a parking stall can reduce the clearance on the sidewalk. It is also a safety issue to back into a parking space not designed for back angle parking.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a 36 inch minimum space for a person who uses a mobility aid. During our walking audit at the HLO Secondary School, there were multiple examples of trucks blocking the sidewalk. A person who uses a mobility aid would not have enough space to make it between the truck and building.

Figure #27 Parking issues – HLO Secondary School

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On the north and northeast side of school, there are parking spots that are not angled with traffic. Not angling the parking slots makes it easier to back into the parking spot. To discourage backing into parking spots, all parking around the school is going to be angled parking or parallel parking.

School administrators are also going to work with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to discourage backing into parking spots through enforcement measures. Refer to the No Parking Enforcement Goal for enforcement measures.

No Parking Enforcement

Goal: Increase compliance of school zone parking policies at the HLO Secondary School.

Strategy: Educate parents and high school drivers on parking policies in the HLO Secondary School Zone.

Strategy: Increase no parking enforcement by giving warnings and tickets to violators.

5 E(s): Education and Enforcement

With changes to the parking policies around the HLO Secondary School, an educational campaign is necessary to help with compliance. There are issues with parking in the bus loading and unloading zone and students backing into parking spots and reducing sidewalk clearance.

It only takes one incident for a serious problem to occur and once one person disobeys the rule, others may follow. No parking means no parking. The new HLO Secondary School Parking Policy Map outlines the no parking zones in the school zone. These no parking zones will be enforced by school administrators and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

A written warning will be given by school administrators for parking in a no parking zone on the first occurrence. The second occurrence will warrant a call to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and a ticket will be written. The no parking zones have been developed for the safety of pedestrians and drivers in the school zone, so no parking signs and striping should be complied with. The no parking warning handout that school administrators can give to drivers violating no parking rules can be found in Appendix G.

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Figure #28 Parking Policy – HLO Secondary School

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Removable Bump-out – Intersection of Sioux City Avenue and Market Street

Goal: Improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of Market Street and Minnesota Avenue.

Strategy: Install removable bumpouts on Sioux City Avenue at the intersection with Market Street.

5 E(s): Engineering and Encouragement

Sioux City Avenue and Market Street have been identified by HLO staff and parents as having higher traffic speeds than the posted 30 mph speed limit. High school students often accelerate up to the intersection of Sioux City Avenue and Market Street, stop quickly, and accelerate away from the intersection. Vehicles parked along the side of Sioux City Avenue make seeing the oncoming traffic difficult.

The intersection of Sioux City Avenue and Market Street is also a busy pedestrian intersection. St. John’s Lutheran School is located on the west side of Sioux City Avenue and the HLO Secondary School is located on the east side. The majority of students who attend St. John’s Lutheran School have to cross this intersection to get to and from the bus. Students walking and biking to school from the south and west side of town also cross this intersection to get to and from school.

Installing a removable rubber bumpout on Sioux City Avenue at the intersection of Sioux City Avenue and Market Street will make this intersection safer for pedestrians. A bumpout will improve the visibility at the intersection and decrease crossing times. Students will have a protected area, so they can see past parked cars and see oncoming traffic. Refer to the picture below outlining the improved sightlines.

Figure #29 Bumpout (Curb Extension) Visibility Comparison

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The bump-out will also act as a traffic calming device, which will help to slow vehicle traffic. A safer intersection will encourage walking and biking to school. Below is a picture of a removable Bump-out.

Figure #30 Bumpout Example

A removable Bump-out will allow the school to test the pedestrian improvement before a permanent Bump-out is constructed. A removable Bump-out can also be removed during the winter. Removing the Bump-out over the winter will make snow removal less difficult.

A painted Bump-out could also be a solution to improve safety on Sioux City Avenue at the intersection of Sioux City Avenue and Market Street. A painted Bump-out would help to identify the pedestrian area and improve visibility. A painted Bump-out does not provide a barrier to protect pedestrians as they wait to cross.

Road Art Campaign

Goal: Increase safety of pedestrians in the HLO school zones.

Strategy: Implement a district wide road art campaign (Paint crosswalks, pedestrian lanes, no parking areas, and other previous striped areas as need.

5 E(s): Education and Encouragement

The majority of striping around the HLO Secondary School happens annually, but some crosswalks have been neglected. It is important to maintain the pedestrian infrastructure around the school. Having clearly identified crosswalks, pedestrian lanes, and no parking areas help to make the school zone safer for all users.

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The crosswalks at the intersection of Market Street and Sioux City Avenue, Market Street and Minnesota Avenue, and East St. Paul Street and County Road 9 need to be painted. These intersections see higher levels of pedestrian traffic.

The districtwide road art campaign at the HLO Secondary School will consist of repainting crosswalks at the intersections of Market Street and Sioux City Avenue, Market Street and Minnesota Avenue, and East St. Paul Street and County Road 9. These crosswalks will also be filled in with road art. Road art is one way of making crosswalks more visible and increase the neighborhood charm of your community. Road art can be unique and may include the painting of wildcat paws (school mascot), handprints, footprints, or other approved images in the crosswalk.

This road art campaign will encourage students to use crosswalks since they are taking part in the creation of the road art in the crosswalks. There will also be an educational component. While the students are creating the road art, teachers can educate students about proper crossing protocol. This campaign will also educate the public on yielding to pedestrians and slowing down in school zones. Students will create drawings and flyers about what they have learned regarding proper crossing protocol, slowing down in school zones, and vehicles yielding to pedestrians. These drawings and flyers can then be displayed in the windows of different businesses in the community. Below are examples of existing road art in other communities.

Figure #17 Crosswalk Road Art Examples

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Figure #31 Crosswalks to be Painted with Road Art – HLO Secondary School

Heron Lake – Okabena Pedestrian Trail

Goal: Increase connectivity between the Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena.

Strategy: Construct a pedestrian trail between the Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena.

5 E(s): Education and Enforcement

The Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena share a school district and a number of other community resources. These communities are only 3.5 miles apart. County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 9 is the link between the two communities.

CSAH 9 is a busy roadway handling large farm equipment, school buses, and other vehicle traffic. The speed limit between the two communities is 55 mph. Traffic type, traffic volumes, and traffic speeds all contribute to CSAH 9 not being pedestrian friendly.

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A pedestrian trail would provide a vital link between the two communities. Local residents have expressed a need for a trail system to connect the two communities. The trail would provide a safe route to school and can also be used for after school activities, like cross-country. Persons living near the trail will benefit from an alternative mode of transportation resulting in a healthier lifestyle for both communities as well as the economic benefits trails provide.

Figure #32 Heron Lake – Okabena Pedestrian Trail

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Additional Goals – HLO Secondary School

An additional goal and strategy was developed prior to the ranking of the HLO Secondary School Goals. This goal and strategy was developed as part of the HLO SRTS Planning Process.

The HLO SRTS Plan is a working document. The HLO School District will continue to make updates to the plan. As planning continues, additional recommendations should be made to the Additional Goals and Strategies Chapter.

Delivery Policy

Goal: Decrease congestion during arrival and departure at the HLO Secondary School.

Strategy: Ensure all delivery drivers are given the updated delivery policy that restricts deliveries during arrival and departure times.

5 E(s): Education and Encouragement

Existing Conditions:

A deliver policy was updated as part of the HLO SRTS Planning Process. The deliver policy is below. The policy outlines times that deliveries will not be accepted. The policy also outlined the doors deliveries are accepted at.

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Figure #33 HLO Secondary School Delivery Policy

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Complete Streets – Heron Lake & Okabena

Goal: Ensure all streets in the Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena are Complete Streets.

Strategy: Implement a Complete Streets Policy.

When constructing a new street or resurfacing an existing street, consider and discuss the function of that street and the pedestrian amenities needed to make that street safe for pedestrians.

5 E(s): Engineering and Encouragement

Existing Conditions:

Some community members may not have access to a motor vehicle, so walking, biking, and transit are their primary transportation modes. Sidewalks and trails have a community benefit and help to increase connectivity within the community. If there are gaps in the sidewalk or trail networks, it will not be convenient to walk and bike.

Different streets require different pedestrian amenities. A Complete Street does not have a singular definition. A Complete Street is any street you feel safe walking or biking on. A Complete Street does not have to have a sidewalk on both sides of the street, but you have to consider all users when deciding if it is safe for pedestrians.

Younger children may need a sidewalk to separate them from vehicle traffic. Younger children may be learning how to ride a bike, so it is not safe for them to share the road with vehicle traffic. When making a decision whether a street needs sidewalks or not, the function of the street needs to be considered.

The Heron Lake and Okabena City Councils should classify streets in Heron Lake and Okabena, so a discussion will occur around the function of the street. Below are three classifications that can be used to identify the pedestrian amenities a street needs.

Connector Streets

Connects primary destinations

Highest traffic volume streets

Require the highest level of pedestrian amenities - Sidewalks on both sides of the street or a trail conveniently located along the corridor that connects key locations.

Neighborhood Connector Streets

Connects Residential Streets to Connector Streets

Medium level traffic volume streets

Require some pedestrian amenities – A sidewalk on one side of the street or the other is required or a trail conveniently located that connects the neighborhood to key

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locations. The sidewalk needs to have continuity throughout, so the route is not jumping back and forth from one side of the street to the other.

Residential Streets

All other streets

Lower traffic speeds

Lower traffic volume streets

Sidewalks are encouraged but there is no sidewalk requirement

New Developments

For new developments, the developer should have to get an exemption from the Heron Lake or Okabena City Councils for why a sidewalk is not needed (street is wide, low traffic volume, it is reasonable to walk on the street…).

Existing Sidewalks

To remove an existing section of sidewalk the landowner should be required to get approval from the Heron Lake or Okabena City Councils. This will help to prevent gaps in the sidewalk and trail network.

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CHAPTER V: PLAN MAINTENANCE

Plan Maintenance

The HLO SRTS Plan is a working document. The HLO SRTS Plan is a joint document between the HLO School District and the Cities of Heron Lake and Okabena. The school will maintain the plan, but the cities will provide input to the school regarding possible updates. The HLO SRTS Team will continue to make updates to the plan with assistance and recommendations from local organizations and groups.

Monitoring, Evaluation & Updating the Plan

As community planning occurs, additional goals and strategies will be added in Chapter IV: Additional Goals and Strategies. It is critical to allow for public input regarding additional goals and strategies. Community residents and the HLO School Board should be asked to provide input regarding infrastructure projects.

Continued Public Involvement

Future trails and pedestrian projects will be discussed at HLO SRTS meetings, HLO School Board meetings, and at city council meetings in Heron Lake and Okabena. The trail committee, Friends of the Jackson County Trails, also meets as needed to discuss potential projects in Jackson County. Community members are welcome to participate in these Friends of the Jackson County Trails meeting. Developing projects with participation from these groups will help to ensure projects are properly planned.

The Jackson County Highway Department will also help to develop infrastructure projects. The county engineer’s knowledge is critical when developing infrastructure projects and pursuing funding for projects. The Jackson County Highway Department does have staff that attends the Friends of the Jackson County Trails meetings, so the Highway Department is involved with project development throughout Jackson County.

Additional Goals & Strategies

The HLO SRTS Plan is a working document. The HLO SRTS Team and school administrators will continue to make updates to the HLO SRTS Plan. As planning continues, additional recommendations should be made to the Additional Goals and Strategies section of this plan.

Conclusion

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children have one hour of physical activity every day.27 Walking and bicycling to school help contribute to children reaching their recommended daily activity levels. SRTS not only promotes walking and bicycling to school, but SRTS tries to create a safe environment so parents feel comfortable letting their children walk and bicycle throughout the community.

27 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Importance of Regular Physical Activity for Children. Accessed 9/28/15. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/children.html

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There are a number of potential benefits of regular physical activity for children that include: builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles, and joints; helps control weight, build lean muscle and reduce fat; improves sense of self-image and autonomy; and fosters healthy social and emotional development.26 Research conducted by James B. Grissom has shown a positive relationship between overall fitness and academic achievement; as fitness scores improved, achievement scores also improved.28

Being active and walking and bicycling have a variety of health benefits as well as social benefits. These societal health benefits include a higher degree of community coherence, increased social support, reduced local crime and violence, reduced traffic congestion, and improved environmental health.29 Designing our neighborhoods and cities to match the needs of pedestrians, not just motor vehicles, is critical in promoting an active lifestyle and a sustainable community. This starts with access to safe infrastructure for walking and bicycling to school.

For this SRTS Plan to be effective, the entire team of teachers, school administrators, parents, community members, and city representatives need to come together to implement the plan. The goals vary by how demanding they are to implement so this may dictate which goals are pursued first. Assigning groups to specific goals will help make the plan more manageable to implement.

Built Environment – Decision Makers Checklist

When making a land use decision and an investment in the future, it is critical to consider all the costs, not just the construction costs. There are costs associated with sprawl, inactivity and negative health outcomes, and the loss of community. Decision makers need to consider the function of every street, road, and plot of land to determine the pedestrian infrastructure needs and connectivity for walking and biking.

Figure #34 Decision Makers Checklist: Built Environment

28 Grissom JB. Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement. Journal of Exercise Physiology online. Volume 8 Number 1. Accessed 9/28/15. Available: http://www.sfgov3.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=414

29 Injury Prevention, Reducing Childhood Pedestrian Injuries. Volume No. 8 Supplement I June 2002. Accessed: 9/28/15. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/images/ip-v8s1-a.pdf

Ask Yourself and the Decision Making Group

How will my decision impact health?

How will my decision impact connectivity?

o Compact efficient development vs. sprawl (which decreases connectivity)

Will my decision make the community more inviting (more walkable and bikeable)?

Were all users considered when making the decision?

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Appendix A

Example Complete Streets Policy – Heron Lake

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Example Complete Streets Policy – Okabena

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Appendix B

Student Travel Tally Surveys

Fall 2012 – HLO Kindergarten through Eighth Grade

Spring 2013 – HLO Kindergarten through Eighth Grade

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May 2014 – HLO Elementary School

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May 2014 – HLO Secondary School

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April 2015 – HLO Elementary School

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April 2015 – HLO Secondary School

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Appendix C

Parent Survey

April 2015 – HLO Elementary School

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April 2015 – HLO Secondary School

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None

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Appendix D

Existing Conditions Map – HLO Elementary School

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Existing Conditions Map – HLO Secondary School

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Appendix E

Work Plan Progress Table

HLO School Administrators have an editable version of the Work Plan Progress Table below.

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Appendix F

HLO Elementary School Drop-off & Pick-up Policy

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Appendix G

No Parking – Written Warning

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Appendix H

Bus Driver Handout – HLO Secondary School

Buses should park in the outlined locations, so crosswalks and intersections are not blocked. Buses should never back up in the bus only zone. The bus only parking is from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. School administrators will help to enforce the bus only parking along with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

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Appendix I

No Parking Policy – HLO Secondary School

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Appendix J

Walking Audit Survey

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Appendix K

Handouts

Role of Schools In Promoting Physical Activity

http://activelivingresearch.org/sites/default/files/ALR_Infographic_Schools_April2012.jpg

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Role of Communities In Promoting Physical Activity

http://activelivingresearch.org/blog/2012/06/infographic-role-communities-promoting-physical-activity

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Role of Parks & Recreation In Promoting Physical Activity

http://activelivingresearch.org/blog/2012/10/infographic-role-parks-and-recreation-promoting-physical-activity

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Role of Transportation In Promoting Physical Activity http://activelivingresearch.org/blog/2012/07/infographic-role-transportation-promoting-physical-activity

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Tips for Teaching Pedestrian Safety to Children

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Tips for Walking Safety to School