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Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Chicago's Clark Street commercial district is a busy area for commuters and shoppers. To increase safety, decrease crime and beautify the neighborhood, the Rogers Park Business Alliance created its Cross the Street: Art on Clark project. Organizers painted murals on the pavement at intersections near the local commuter train station, as well as on side streets leading to the Clark Street shopping district. The permanent art installations are meant to encourage drivers to slow down as they approach. Also meant to be a placemaking intervention, the pavement art also encourages pedestrians to engage with local businesses. Since installation, project organizers say Art on Clark has improved economic vitality and public safety in the neighborhood.

Bozeman, MT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The City of Bozeman partnered with the Western Transportation Institute to create a pop-up trailer, which they lend to community groups who want to test out street concepts and advocate for permanent changes. The toolkit contains materials for temporary demonstrations, such as straw wattles, planter boxes, pavement paint and tires. These are useful for creating curb extensions and pedestrian islands -- features that calm traffic by narrowing lanes and increasing the visibility of cyclists and pedestrians. The City deployed the kit at the intersection of Tamarack and North Tracy, where residents often complain about speeding. Located near a park, senior center and the county fairgrounds, the intersection is popular with pedestrians and cyclists. When the City polled passersby about the interventions, two-thirds of the feedback they heard was positive. The City also set up radar speed detection equipment, which showed slower vehicle speeds during pop-up project.

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.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: Oahu is home to many older adults hoping to age in place. However, aging homes can make this difficult. Working with Palolo Chinese Home, Age-Friendly Honolulu created the Safe Homes 4 Kapuna program, which provides aging-in-place education, as well as home assessments and modifications, to older adults in the Palolo Valley neighborhood. The program produced print and electronic versions of a booklet, called Hale4Kapuna. The publication includes tips about renters' rights, permitting processes, funding sources and types of home modifications beneficial for older adults, as well as information on home assessments and basic handyman work. The group also provided home assessments to six older adults residing in the Palolo Valley.

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: While Hawaii is known for beaches and lush mountains, many urban areas lack accessible green space. To give residents outdoor space, Better Block Hawaii planned, designed and installed two parklets in Honolulu's Kalihi neighborhood. Working with the City of Honolulu to identify areas of need, they installed the first parklet at Richie's Drive Inn, transforming a parking area into a mini park with tables, benches, planters and a mural. Parklets help local businesses extend their storefronts onto the sidewalk and boost revenue by creating cozy, inviting gathering places.

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