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Montgomery, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Drivers in Montgomery can't help but slow down when they approach the crosswalk on busy Mulberry Street. The crossing features solar-powered, pedestrian-activated crossing signals as well as a pavement mural -- all of which calm passing traffic and improve pedestrian safety. After calling on residents to submit their ideas for the mural, the City's traffic engineers painted the crossing to look like a troll bridge. Connecting a residential neighborhood to the local elementary school, the crosswalk depicts a wooden bridge with a mom, dad and baby troll hanging on its sides. The bridge allows students to safety get to school and also enables pedestrians to traverse Mulberry Street's many small businesses. We had about 30 designs submitted for the crosswalkand all of them were delightful, but the Hardy design made the whole selection committee smile, Lynda Wool, a senior planner for the city of Montgomery, told Design Alabama.

Boise, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Idaho Bike Walk Alliance wanted to make walking and biking safer for elementary school students. To do this, they deployed lightweight traffic items around N. 8th Street to reduce driving speeds. The traffic calming equipment included cones -- used to shorten the distance needed to cross the street -- as well as reusable neon signs and plenty of chalk. The Alliance papered the neighborhood with flyers, created a social media campaigns on the project, and met with stakeholders to gain buy-in. They then demonstrated the traffic calming tools over five days in November. An online survey showed community interest in making such features permanent. As a driver, the curb extensions provided greater visibility of pedestrians, one respondent said.

Lansing, MI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To protect pedestrians and cyclists from passing traffic, the City of Lansing installed delineators at a busy roundabout. Additionally, the City painted a sidewalk at along the roundabout's perimeter to make it more visible to drivers. To give cyclists a place to park, they also installed bike racks nearby.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Fort Wayne, IN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To encourage walking, cycling and other forms of active transportation, Active Living Indiana worked with Team Better Block to install a temporary traffic-calming plaza on Columbia Avenue. Located near Fort Wayne's greenway, the site featured blue-and-white crosswalk striping, public art installations, foliage and a temporary, bright purple bike path offset from traffic by cones. In order to show residents how changes to the streetscape can make walking safer, the organizations also hosted an event promoting active communities. There, attendees could take in live music, enjoy local food vendors, play street games and experience the traffic calming interventions in-person. Project organizers say they hope the pop-up demonstration will be a springboard for more permanent street redesigns in the future.

Fort Wayne, IN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Bridge of Grace Ministries set out to make the underserved Mount Vernon Park neighborhood safe, walkable and accessible for all. Their effort included physical improvements, including updated landscaping, new porch swings and banners promoting their work. They also conducted a storytelling project, inviting Mount Vernon Park residents to gather and share their personal histories and experiences. Volunteers videotaped the event and featured the stories on YouTube. Participants in the storytelling events reported a profound sense of connection with neighbors and the community.

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