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St. Louis, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To demonstrate safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, Trailnet created a pop-up parklet kit for its Traffic Calming Lending Library, making it available for use around St. Louis. They then installed a parklet at Laclede and Vandeventer Avenues. Occupying what would otherwise be street parking spaces, the elevated platform features seating and greenery. The parklet's positioning shortens the distance needed to cross the street by 11 feet, making crossing easier for pedestrians. Trailnet also added striping to the intersection's crosswalk to improve its visibility. Additionally, the organization added bike and scooter parking nearby. Originally a temporary installation, Trailnet permanently installed a parklet at the intersection in 2020. The result is a safe resting place for cyclists and a community gathering place. Trailnet hopes the completed project will be a blueprint for intersection safety improvements throughout the region.

Swanton, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: As part of efforts to redevelop its downtown, the Village of Swanton has worked to makes streets more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. To build community support, the Village staged a one-day traffic calming demonstration. Using hay bales and planters, the community created a barrier to separate the village's parking area from travel lanes, which successfully slowed down vehicle traffic. They also created bump-outs to shorten the distance needed to cross the street and make pedestrians more visible to passing drivers. During the pop-up, residents had the opportunity to make suggestions for long-term streetscape improvements. Following the demonstration, the Village planted trees along busy streets as a traffic calming measure. The Village also established a task force to look at other opportunities for future demonstration projects to test street infrastructure improvements.

Gardiner, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The City of Gardiner hoped to improve accessibility by replacing crumbling sidewalks at the Gardiner Public Library -- and they wanted to ensure the community had a voice in the process. They put together a table display at the library, which featured photos of existing sidewalk issues, as well as examples of alternative sidewalk designs. They then invited library visitors to fill out a short survey with their design suggestions. Additionally, they consulted local older adult groups and held an event at the library. Based on community feedback, they installed 100 feet of new concrete sidewalk with a brick border. Organizers say community engagement resulted in larger conversations about accessibility and walkability throughout Gardiner, resulting in upgrades in a local park.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Grand Forks, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Micromobility enhancements/management

Description: This project will enable the Grand Rides Bike Share program to provide e-bikes and adaptive bikes to encourage ridership among people aged 50.

Grand Forks, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: As part of its mission to connect the community, the Grand Forks Public Library created an intergenerational music playground on its grounds. A group of older adult volunteers helped select all-weather musical instruments and installed them on a concrete slab. Since the installation, the project has brought adults and children together, demonstrating the value of activating underused public spaces. Additionally, the playground has strengthened the library's relationship with a nearby senior housing community. Project organizers say the musical instruments offer psychological and health benefits for older adults, such as reduced stress, improved mood and greater cognitive skills.

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