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Grand Forks, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To increase the pedestrian experience in Grand Forks, this project tested improvements to crosswalks at a busy intersection. The City installed temporary curb extensions, designed to shorten the distance needed to cross the street and make pedestrians more visible to drivers. They also used paint to make the crosswalks more noticeable. Additionally, local high school students helped install a sidewalk mural nearby, along with flowerpots and benches. The pop-up demonstration was in place for one month, giving residents time to give their feedback. Since the project, the City Council approved plans for permanent curb extension at the intersection. Organizers hope data gathered will also inspire other streetscape improvements to make the community more walkable.

Severna Park, MD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Olde Severna Park Improvement Association employed high- and low-tech solutions to improve pedestrian safety in a neighborhood with a senior living facility, library, community recreation center, local gathering spaces and shopping. The organization made bright orange handheld pedestrian flags available at two crosswalks on Evergreen Road. They also added guardrails and planting strips between the sidewalk and street to help protect pedestrians. Other improvements include school crossing signage, arrows and a flashing pedestrian-activated beacon. All provide a collective alert to drivers to watch out for people traveling on foot.

Starkville, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Community-based organization Keep Starkville Beautiful updated a busy transportation corridor to calm traffic, increase safety and make the area more pleasant. The organization repaired a crumbling retaining wall and added built-in planters and pollinator patch gardens. A local artist created a colorful pavement pattern in the intersection of Whitfield and Scales Streets. Keep Starkville Beautiful also made improvements to a bus stop, installing a new ADA-compliant seating and waiting area and adding an arbor framed by planters to provide shade. Local residents provided much of the labor for the upgrades during community work days.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Atlanta, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Resources about housing options, safety and services

Description: To help residents stay in their neighborhood following construction of the Atlanta Beltline bike and pedestrian trail, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership hired resource coordinators. The coordinators work to inform longtime residents about the organization's Legacy Resident Retention Program, which provides financial assistance to cover property tax increases. The efforts ensure low- and moderate-income families aren't displaced, enabling intergenerational wealth building and allowing them to take advantage of the BeltLine.

Atlanta, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Woodruff Park's game cart allows visitors to borrow games, sports equipment and other recreation items at no charge. To improve the kiosk's appearance and attract visitors, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District partnered with local graphic design students to create highly visible decals. They also used checkerboard decals to convert round park tables into game tables. Finally, the organization purchased new supplies for the game cart, including coloring books, watercolor paint kits and markers and crayons. Following the improvements, the BID used the tabled to host chess tournaments, which attracted new visitors to the park.

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