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St. Paul, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Territorial Road in St. Paul is a busy arterial, with dozens of heavy trucks passing through every hour. High vehicle speeds pose a hazard for residents, many of whom are older adults and people with disabilities. This project set out to improve safety and beautify two intersections near the local light rail station. To do this, the St. Anthony Community Council installed artistic benches with planters, as well as a wall mural depicting an owl. Additionally, a local artist painted a Dakota-inspired design on a crosswalk, making it more visible to passing drivers.

Pensacola, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Gonzalez Street Shareway in Pensacola is a wide, busy road dominated by cars. To demonstrate how the thoroughfare could accommodate both vehicles and pedestrians, Bike Pensacola conducted a one-day demonstration of traffic calming features. Bike Pensacola fabricated traffic circles and temporarily narrowed the roadway from four to two lanes. To test out the traffic control measures, about 300 bicyclists participated in a slow ride along the Shareway, cycling between three Pensacola parks. Additionally, Bike Pensacola partnered with local businesses and organizations to bring a local art market to the shareway including a sidewalk book sale, food trucks, self-guided walking tours and a scavenger hunt.

Charleston, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The West Ashley Greenway in Charleston is an eight-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail, which is popular with walkers, runners and cyclists. However, the greenway crosses several busy streets, leading to accidents between vehicles and pedestrians. To fix this, a team of volunteers created three artistic crosswalk murals, designed to calm traffic. They also installed signage which reminds drivers to look out for people crossing the roadway. Community members need to be able to get access to places without driving, and to feel safe when they're walking and biking, project director Katie Zimmerman said. Doing this even in small ways will get more people active and out of their cars.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Ellsworth, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Ellsworth's once-bustling East End corridor had declined over several decades, with a 60 percent vacancy rate along Broadway Street. The Local Chamber of Commerce hoped to see the neighborhood rise again as a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use area. To promote its vision, the Chamber commissioned six murals celebrating local agricultural history. They also put up light pole banners and window clings with branding for the neighborhood and added benches, bistro tables and hanging planter baskets along Broadway Street. The Chamber then staged a historical walking tour, which garnered local news coverage and spurred the County historical association to consider designating the East End as an official historic district. In conjunction with these placemaking efforts, the Chamber launched a pop-up program for small businesses opening in the East End. Following that initiative, two of the participating decided to operate permanently in the neighborhood.

St. Paul, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The city government in St. Paul hoped to enhance walkability through safety improvements at two unmarked pedestrian crossings along Marion Street. To accomplish that, the city created two long-term temporary crosswalks at Ravoux and Fuller Streets. The work included adding pedestrian crosswalk signs, painting high-visibility block-pattern crosswalk markings and installing pedestrian refuge islands and bump-outs. The city also restricted parking near the intersections and installed a temporary radar speed sign along the corridor. The project enabled local government agencies and civic organizations to gather data needed to support permanent crosswalks upgrades in the area. Using the results, the city began its re-envisioning Marion Street as a pedestrian-friendly, multi-modal corridor in 2021.

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