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Missoula, MT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Missoula County officials hoped to demonstrate options for improved pedestrian access to East Missoula's downtown. Staff and volunteers put out straw bales, planters and trees to calm traffic, as well as create a temporary bike and walking path near a popular store and service station. They also set up a pop-up park. They also set up an area with picnic tables, canopies and umbrellas. Food trucks and a banner helped attract visitors to the event, along with sidewalk games, face painting and mural making. Attendees could see how possible future safety improvements would work and were invited to provide feedback. Project organizers report the demonstration helped secure buy-in from nearby business owners, who had previously expressed skepticism about changes to the streetscape. Since the event, the County has working to permanently implement the interventions envisioned during the event, including forming long-term plans to reconstruct a major highway corridor.

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Organizers at the Waikiki Community Center at originally planned to beautify Waikiki neighborhoods by painting utility boxes with cultural images. When that project got derailed due to permit challenges, they pivoted to do much needed sidewalk safety and repair -- something local older adults identified as a community need. The Center led a campaign to educate residents of Waikiki on pedestrian safety and worked with volunteers to patch and repair more than 100 damaged areas of sidewalk. Volunteers also beautified the area along sidewalks by refreshing or replacing planter boxes.

Birmingham, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: REV Birmingham worked to improve a portion of 1st Avenue South in the Woodlawn neighborhood and commercial district. Along that stretch, speeding vehicles often posed a danger to pedestrians and cyclists. REV chose two blocks for a three-week test of a Compete Street design, reducing the street from four lanes in each direction to two. Reclaiming the space from the removed lanes, they added bike lanes, prominent crosswalks and parallel parking for cars. The organization used the experiment to gather data to substantiate the value of Complete Street conversions. In 2020, REV began working with city officials on several other projects to reclaim streets for pedestrian use.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Malvern, AR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To improve pedestrian visibility and safety, the Malvern-Hot Spring County Library created a colorful crosswalk. Project organizers report the crosswalk has visibly slowed down approaching traffic. A local group -- the Ouachita River Art Guild -- designed and painted the crosswalk with a floral design. Library also worked with local master gardeners to create a pollinator garden and added a story trail. The trail includes sign posts displaying pages from a children's storybook, which can be rotated out as needed to provide visitors with new reading material.

Malvern, AR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Established in 2020, Malvern's Story Trail and Garden is a well-loved feature of the Malvern-Hot Spring County Library. This project expanded the story trail, improving the space with new planters, windproof easels for painting classes and the installation of a butterfly-shaped table and chairs. Additionally, the library distributed nearly 2,000 children's books, with library staff assembling baskets for summer reading program participants.

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