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Wheat Ridge, CO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: Localworks has been working for years to improve Wheat Ridge's 38th Avenue corridor and create a main street destination for the city. Its Activate 38 program aims to promote safe walking, biking and wheelchair rolling along 38th Avenue west of Kipling Street. To support this goal, Localworks staged the Roll, Stroll and Strut Fest at a local park. Local partners included the city parks and recreation department and Bicycle Colorado. As part of the event, Localworks obtained a permit to take over a street near the park to showcase planters, bollards and other devices that can calm traffic, making streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users. Localworks continues to promote healthy mobility along 38th Avenue and hosted an all-abilities bike cruising event in the neighborhood in 2021.

Jackson, WY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: To make its car-oriented downtown more pedestrian-friendly, the Town of Jackson held a design workshop to test ideas for improvements to the town square. Held at a local senior center, the workshop allowed town staff to show older residents photos of downtown and get their feedback. The Town then incorporated suggestions from the workshop at a Park(ing) Day event. They converted a parking space into a parklet with outdoor furniture, planters and bike racks. In addition, they offered trishaw rides around the square during the event and for a few weeks afterwards. Town staff interviewed older adults at the event, asking about ways to make downtown more walkable. Organizers then reported what they heard to the town council to inform future improvements. Project organizers say the workshop and Park(ing) Day event built relationships with older adults, which will help keep them involved in the community design process going forward.

Batavia, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: Local officials and community organizations hoped to increase pedestrian and bicycle traffic in downtown Batavia. To do this, the Batavia Environmental Commission, Batavia Bicycle Commission, the WellBatavia Initiative and Batavia Maitreet undertook a research and promotional campaign. They hosted a walk and bike audit that taught residents urban biking skills, such as how to load a bike onto a public bus. The initiative then paired participants with residents of a local retirement community, as well as with families with small children, to help them learn about biking. The group produced a 15-minute video documentary presenting the town's history, showcasing its pedestrian and bike infrastructure and highlighting the need for future improvements. In 2022, Batavia announced it would create a bicycle and walking plan to improve city trails and make intersections safer.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Athens, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Inclusive public space improvements

Description: Athens has a rich African American history that spans many generations, yet has lacked an appropriate venue to share its stories. The Downtown Athens Development Authority created a permanent exhibit at the Ware-Lydon House Museum about people enslaved in the region, which also featured stories about their descendants. The exhibit was developed alongside the museum's new, 40-volume African American heritage library and community conversation area, which includes tables and chairs where visitors can gather. Additionally, the Authority developed the first section of an African American Heritage Pathway walking tour, which travels between the museum and the home of one of the first vaudeville theaters in the U.S. built, owned, and operated by a Black entrepreneur.

Monroe, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give people an outdoor space to socialize in the heart of downtown, the City of Monroe transformed its visitor center's concrete patio into a new mini-park. The City brightened up the area by adding planters, seating, outdoor games and a mural painted by local youth. The City then unveiled the new space during the local fall festival. Additionally, project organizers made enhancements to the existing hammock park located next to the visitor's center. The site offers visitors a spot to relax in one of several hammocks. To accommodate more foot traffic, the City added bench swings and pergolas for shade. Inspired by the visitor center improvements, nearby businesses put out their own planters by their storefronts. Project organizers say the upgrades helped lift the spirits of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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