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Salt Lake City, UT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: As part of larger Complete Streets efforts to make local roadways friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists, Sweet Streets installed wayfinding signage throughout Salt Lake City. The signs display the distances to nearby amenities such as shops and parks, as well as the time needed to reach them on foot or by bike. Project organizers hope the initiative encourages residents to explore their community without getting in a car. Additionally, Sweet Streets held a series of outreach events to engage residents on street safety and design, especially as the nonprofit advocates for lowered speed limits on many roads.

Belchertown, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: Located near schools and an assisted living community, the Lake Wallace Sensory Trail is designed to welcome trail users of all abilities, including those with limited mobility or sensory issues. The rope-guided trail with Braille markers -- one of four in the state -- serves as a model for future accessible projects. This project added new tactile signs in Braille. Another feature gives visitors the option to lower the new trailhead kiosk to wheelchair height for easy access. Signage along the trail points out intersections, resting spots and information about lake ecology and the site's history. Part of the Belchertown Heritage Trails network, the sensory trail has since attracted more additional and community involvement.

Charlotte, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: Sustain Charlotte hoped to build enthusiasm for the concept of ten-minute neighborhoods -- places where people can meet their daily needs without needing to own a car. Based on input from residents of Charlotte's North End, the organization designed and installed 86 wayfinding signs. Each displays a QR code, which visitors can scan with their smartphones to view a map of neighborhood amenities, including parks and recreation centers, schools and public transportation. Following this project, Sustain Charlotte has continued its relationship with North End residents. The North End Community Coalition now serves on the steering committee for the Charlotte Regional Transportation Coalition, which Sustain Charlotte started in 2020. That coalition advocates for equity-centered transportation improvements, which include pedestrian and bike infrastructure. Since then, the City has increased its budget for transportation projects to make biking and walking safer.

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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