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Milwaukee, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Wisconsin Bike Federation wanted to challenge Milwaukee residents to think differently about their public spaces, especially their streets. To that end, the organization staged a workshop to demonstrate what a safe street looks like and talk with residents about possible improvements in their neighborhood. As part of the event, the Bike Federation conducted a pop-up demonstration showcasing temporary traffic calming interventions outside the United Community Senior Center. Using painted tires and lawn chairs, staff and volunteers created curb extensions, meant to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians at intersections. They also used chalk paint to add bike sharrows to the street and add color to a crosswalk to make it more visible. Finally, they set up a mini roundabout designed to slow down traffic. The temporary improvements spurred city officials to apply for federal funding to make permanent changes to the street.

Kansas City, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Kansas City's Oak Street was long plagued by high-speed car crashes. This month-long demonstration project put a two-block stretch of Oak Street on a road diet, with a mobility lane replacing one lane of traffic. Cars parked along the street -- as well as new planters -- protect bicyclists, scooter users, skateboarders, rollerbladers and joggers from traffic. The changes maintained all preexisting on-street parking. In fact, the project added two parking spots while also adding parking for 12 bicycles, 25 scooters and a few motorcycles. During the demonstration, vehicle speeds were 10 to 15 miles per hour slower than before. Since the project, the City has invested in parking hubs for bikes and scooters.

Jamestown, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Jamestown's Parks and Recreation Department hosted a pop-up event to test the viability of a path connecting the existing Jamestown River Trail with the local university, high school and activity center. They deployed traffic cones and signage to cordon off a temporary route for bikes and pedestrians along Highway 20. Organizers collected community feedback before and after the Pop-Up Walk/Bike Trail event, hoping to use the responses in future grant funding applications. That's what we're looking for input on, where do folks want to cross the road, said Amy Walters, director of the Two Rivers Activity Center. What is going to make people feel the safest Of those surveyed, 94 percent of people said they would like to see a permanent path installed along the route, with 62 percent of people saying they would use it at least four days a week. Since the project a committee has continued to meet to create a plan to connect existing paths in Jamestown and explore funding options.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Houston, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: To increase walkability and create a safe, beautiful gathering space, Avenue CDC engaged a local artist, local schoolchildren and residents to create a 600-foot mural. The wall selected for the artwork was off-putting and had been vandalized many times. But the site also acted as the entry point to the Northline neighborhood, since the wall faces the nearby light rail station. The mural's design pays homage to local Latino culture and the history of the neighborhood. As the mural reached its completion, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and project organizers were able to repurpose leftover grant funds to help with recovery and rebuilding.

Houston, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Walkability

Description: This project will conduct walk audits along Washington Avenue, a busy commercial district surrounded by residential homes. There will be two training sessions and a final in-person community meeting.

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