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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.

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.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

La Crosse, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: Cia Siab -- a nonprofit serving the local Hmoob community -- wanted to ensure its community center was accessible to people of all ages and abilities. But the stairs at the building's entrance posed a challenge to community elders who use wheelchairs, scooters or other mobility devices. To fix this, the City of La Crosse installed two ramps. The center offers programming to the community, including Hmoob language camp, women's circle and elders program. Access to the site is especially important for Hmong elders, who often struggle with depression, PTSD and social isolation due to their experiences of war, displacement and loss. Since installing the ramps, the City has looked for other community spaces that would benefit from accessibility upgrades.

La Crosse, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: La Crosse's food forest produces fruit and vegetables for the community, helps absorb stormwater runoff and serves as a communal gathering place. The forest, however, did not have seating along its many paths. To beautify the forest and give visitors a place to rest, the La Crosse Area Family YMCA created artistic benches. Younger people worked with older adult mentors to design, assemble and decorate each bench. Many pay homage to the forest, featuring images of plants and vegetables. Project organizers say the public art effort fostered intergenerational cohesion, and residents consider the new benches to be source of community pride.

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