Oklahoma Spotlight: “Paws”-ing For Pedestrians and Bicyclists in Guymon

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The TSET Healthy Living Program and City of Guymon, along with local volunteers, are making the area around Guymon High School safer for students who walk or bike to school, or for community members who choose active transportation in their daily activities. They are helping drivers slow down as they approach the school by painting school-spirited markings on streets in areas that have high foot traffic or bicycle use near the school. 

How Did You Develop This Idea?

In June 2017, the Institute for Quality Communities (IQC) traveled to Guymon to work with the Texas County Health Department TSET Healthy Living Program, the City of Guymon and local partners.  Through the 48-hour visit, IQC made recommendations on how the community could create safer intersections with the 50-foot-wide streets throughout Guymon. Through this recommendation the community decided to do a pilot project to work on curb extensions around the high school, in hopes that the visible markers would encourage drivers to be more cautious and calm traffic. 

How Much Did It Cost? How Much Staff Time or Volunteer Effort Did It Take?

The Texas County TSET Healthy Living Program presented a $500 sponsorship to the City of Guymon. Additionally, $800 worth of paint was donated by Guymon Public Schools. The City of Guymon contributed $200 worth of supplies and paid for two city employees’ 8-hour shifts on the project.  

What Would You Do Differently? 

In hindsight, we learned that we should have educated the community more on active transportation prior to the pilot project beginning. Specifically, we could have provided more educational speaking opportunities about the pilot project, along with brainstorming ways we could have informed the public about how this project would benefit the community, in efforts to provide a clear vision on why we choose the location at the high school along with why we decided to go with the specific temporary materials that were used. 

Where Are You Planning to Take This Idea in the Future? 

This project marks the beginning steps of implementing permanent active transportation strategies. We were able to survey the pilot project for a total of one month and, after the surveying period, we collected data and will be presenting our findings to the City of Guymon Council and Guymon Public Schools with the hopes of getting a permanent structure in place at this location along with two additional intersections. 

Questions?  

To learn more about this community effort, or to get involved, contact Kayla Marler, Texas County Healthy Living Programs Wellness Coordinator II, Texas County Health Department TSET Healthy Living Program. 

Phone: 580.338.8544 

E-mail: KaylaM@health.ok.gov 

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