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Cincinnati, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Hoping to reduce traffic accidents at a busy intersection, the City of Cincinnati created a crosswalk mural in the Clifton Heights neighborhood. Community groups helped choose the mural's design and volunteers worked to paint it on the pavement. The crossing -- which is located near shops, restaurants, a high school and the University of Cincinnati's campus -- attracts heavy pedestrian traffic. In addition to beatifying the streetscape, project organizers hope the mural will make pedestrians more visible. The colorful, abstract artwork is meant to catch drivers' attention, causing them to slow down as they approach. In the future, organizers plan to install crosswalk murals at other popular intersections nearby.

Kansas City, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Kansas City's Oak Street was long plagued by high-speed car crashes. This month-long demonstration project put a two-block stretch of Oak Street on a road diet, with a mobility lane replacing one lane of traffic. Cars parked along the street -- as well as new planters -- protect bicyclists, scooter users, skateboarders, rollerbladers and joggers from traffic. The changes maintained all preexisting on-street parking. In fact, the project added two parking spots while also adding parking for 12 bicycles, 25 scooters and a few motorcycles. During the demonstration, vehicle speeds were 10 to 15 miles per hour slower than before. Since the project, the City has invested in parking hubs for bikes and scooters.

Jamestown, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Jamestown's Parks and Recreation Department hosted a pop-up event to test the viability of a path connecting the existing Jamestown River Trail with the local university, high school and activity center. They deployed traffic cones and signage to cordon off a temporary route for bikes and pedestrians along Highway 20. Organizers collected community feedback before and after the Pop-Up Walk/Bike Trail event, hoping to use the responses in future grant funding applications. That's what we're looking for input on, where do folks want to cross the road, said Amy Walters, director of the Two Rivers Activity Center. What is going to make people feel the safest Of those surveyed, 94 percent of people said they would like to see a permanent path installed along the route, with 62 percent of people saying they would use it at least four days a week. Since the project a committee has continued to meet to create a plan to connect existing paths in Jamestown and explore funding options.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Charleston, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: To make its underused East End Community Park more inviting, the City of Charleston added a splash pad, playground equipment and new greenery. First, the City held a community clean up day, where volunteers helped prepare the site. Then the City installed new equipment, including a swing set, two ski walker gliders and a water umbrella for the splash pad. The City also planted trees to shade the park's walking path and improve its overall appearance. In addition, they added lighting to improve park safety by illuminating the walking path, the community garden and other areas. Since these changes, project organizers report more families are using the park and neighbors are chipping in to keep the area free of litter.

Charleston, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: This project upgraded Charleston's East End Dog Park to make it usable for pet owners of all ages. The City planted trees, installed shade structures and added seating. They also made repairs to the park's water source and planted grass. In addition, City workers fenced off a section of the dog park specifically for smaller dogs, keeping them separate from larger breeds that can intimidate them.

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