Monday, December 10, 2012

Exciting progress being made by Wells Active Living Coalition and USC Safe Routes to School committees

Students from United South Central Schools Participating in Wells Walking Wednesday- part of their Safe Routes to Schools Program.
The Wells Area Active Living Coalition (WALC) and United South Central Schools (USC) Safe Routes to School committees have been meeting monthly with city officials, city and county engineers, Region 9 Development Commission and Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to develop plans for safe access for walkers and bikers when their new school site opens Fall of 2014.  The City of Wells and USC Schools will be co-applicants for a SRTS grant which will be completed by Bolton and Menk along with Region 9. The grant will focus on three areas:

  • A safe method for students crossing Hwy 22
  • New sidewalks in identified priority routes
  • Repair of existing sidewalks in priority routes
Scott Thompson, MnDOT District 7 Traffic Engineer attended the November meeting to talk about options for traffic control on Hwy 22.  He brought information on RRFB (Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon) as one option for safe crossing of Hwy 22.  An HSIP grant has been submitted requesting funding for the RRFB.

A recent community survey of the top 5 destinations in the community confirmed that safe access to the schools in our community is a priority, but also how safe routes will benefit other walkability aspects of the community. The Active Living Wells Comprehensive Plan has been updated to reflect the community responses.  On December 10 the committee will present information to the City Council to secure their support of the application and plan.  The public will be invited to an informational meeting January 23 from 5-7 pm at the Wells Community Building.

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