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Columbia, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Many of Columbia's sidewalks and bike lanes are outdated and substandard. To make the community aware of needed pedestrian infrastructure improvements, Columbia PedNet created a pop-up demonstration kit. Outfitted with traffic cones, paint, stencils, signs and other supplies, the kit allows local advocates to make temporary changes to the streetscape. Project organizers then worked with residents and the city's Public Works Department to stage two demonstrations to reduce vehicle speeds, making walking and cycling safer. Project organizers report many residents attended the events and gave their feedback on how to make streets safer. Columbia PedNet has more demonstrations planned and hopes to work with the City to make pop-ups part of its neighborhood traffic calming program.

Anchorage, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Organizers with Bike Anchorage wanted to give neighbors a glimpse at what their streets could look like with tweaks to make them safer and more pedestrian-friendly. They equipped a trailer with cones, spray chalk, signage and other traffic calming supplies, ready to deploy to locations ripe for pop-up demonstrations. In one such demonstration at a busy intersection near the public library, volunteers installed a temporary roundabout which successfully calmed vehicle traffic. They also created a temporary protected bike lane downtown. The project has already inspired more permanent improvements -- officials have earmarked funds for a future roundabout at the site near the library.

Pensacola, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Gonzalez Street Shareway in Pensacola is a wide, busy road dominated by cars. To demonstrate how the thoroughfare could accommodate both vehicles and pedestrians, Bike Pensacola conducted a one-day demonstration of traffic calming features. Bike Pensacola fabricated traffic circles and temporarily narrowed the roadway from four to two lanes. To test out the traffic control measures, about 300 bicyclists participated in a slow ride along the Shareway, cycling between three Pensacola parks. Additionally, Bike Pensacola partnered with local businesses and organizations to bring a local art market to the shareway including a sidewalk book sale, food trucks, self-guided walking tours and a scavenger hunt.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Wayne, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The downtown area of Wayne, Maine, appears suddenly to drivers traveling along Route 133, a busy state highway. Because of curves in the road and a hill, pedestrians crossing Main Street often aren't visible to drivers until the last second. Logging trucks and other large trucks race through town, barely slowing down as they do, said Stan Davis, chair of the community's aging-at-home committee. To make pedestrians more noticeable, Aging at Home installed flashing Reduce Speed at either end of Wayne's downtown area. The town also purchased portable pedestrian crossing signs. Spurred by the success of the improvements, they plan to continue advocating for sidewalks in central Wayne to make walking even safer.

Readfield, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Readfield's Age-Friendly Committee set out to enhance the town's public spaces and draw the community together. They purchased outdoor furniture to activate two spaces -- one outside the local public library and the other at Readfield Beach on Maranacook Lake. The beach's moveable Adirondack chairs give visitors a change to interact with each other. Additionally, the tables and chairs at the library allow residents to access free Wi-Fi service, even when the library building is closed. Library visitors of all wages can also rest there after enjoying the nearby story walk.

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