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River Falls, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The grant will fund safety improvements at a major intersection and demonstrate traffic calming interventions such as high-visibility crosswalk markings and an auditory response system.

Tucson, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: With brightly painted asphalt, street furniture and large urns hosting potted cacti and other native plants, Tucson's Living Streets Alliance transformed the intersection of 6th Avenue and 7th Street, an area known locally as Corbett Porch. For years, the intersection had been dangerous ground for pedestrians and cyclists. By using inexpensive materials -- such as paint, planters and pliable posts -- to narrow the roadway and create a new, street-adjacent public space, the porch became a street for people. Where only 1 in 4 drivers previously stopped at the intersection's stop signs, a survey found that more than 1 in 3 were obeying the law. Meanwhile, Tucsonans flocked to the public space. Until it was removed to make way for a permanent reconfiguration, the project proved to be such a popular place to see and be seen, it even got its own hashtag: CorbettPorch.

Montgomery, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Montgomery's Old Cloverdale neighborhood is a historic area with beautiful, wide streets and compelling architecture but limited sidewalks and crosswalks. To address this, River Region Trains Inc. engaged in a two-week pop-up placemaking event. Using cones and paint, they set up temporary, protected pedestrian lanes on two major connector streets in the neighborhood. Along with two existing lengths of sidewalk, the lanes formed a 2-mile loop, wide enough to accommodate multiple walkers, bikers, runners and people riding scooters. Organizers say the project demonstrated the power of creating walkable streets and encouraged residents to get involved in how their streets are designed and built.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Charleston, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The American College of the Building Arts installed benches and a new pergola to create a multigenerational gathering space at the Community's Hope Impact Center, a local community center. The College saw the installation process as an opportunity for education, holding workshops on masonry where volunteers helped lay bricks for the space's walkway. With a goal of preserving, enriching and educating about architectural heritage, the organization trains artisans in traditional building crafts, such as carpentry and forging architectural iron. It was founded in the wake of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which damaged or destroyed much of coastal South Carolina's historic architecture.

Charleston, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Hampstead Square is Charleston's oldest public green space. But the square had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect, made worse by flooding. Keep Charleston Beautiful partnered with the City of Charleston to launch a multi-year park revitalization, part of broader work to bring greenspace to the community. They installed an irrigation system and updated landscaping. To give nearby residents free internet access, they also set up a Wi-Fi hotspot. Volunteers -- including community members and local businessowners -- helped complete the work and chip in additional funding. Inspired by the progress, organizers later added a new historic marker and statue of famed Charleston blacksmith Philip Simmons, which inform visitors about the park's legacy. Since the improvements, the space has hosted health and fitness activities, youth programs and free outdoor movie screenings.

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