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Fort Wayne, IN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: This project will install curb cuts and signage to improve the community's access to a prairie, a pond and paths on the campus of Stillwater Hospice, a place of comfort and healing.

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.

Denver, CO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Denver's Federal Boulevard is one of the city's deadliest routes, with a traffic fatality rate 20 times higher than the average for urban streets in Colorado. To demonstrate simple improvements to make walking and biking safer, WalkDenver held a daylong tactical urbanism event near Regis University. Using pastel-painted tires, traffic cones, flowerpots and hay bales, project organizers set up temporary bike lanes, curb extensions and traffic islands along Federal Boulevard. To determine the efficacy of the street calming interventions, they collected data on vehicle speeds and surveyed pedestrians during the pop-up. Ahead of the event, project organizers hosted a walk with local leaders, allowing them to experience the challenge of walking along Federal Boulevard. The nearby neighborhoods are home to college students who regularly walk and bike, as well as a high concentration of older adults and residents with disabilities.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

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.

Kansas City, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public safety interventions

Description: As part of community placemaking efforts, the Blue Hills Neighborhood Association installed solar pathway lights to Blue Hills-Kissick Park. The pocket park -- created by activating a vacant lot -- is a new addition to midtown Kansas City. Intended to increase safety, the lights allow residents to visit the park after dark. Organizers say the new green space serves as a pilot project, demonstrating how repurposing vacant lots can beautify a neighborhood, cut down on illegal dumping and reduce crime. The Association reports the project also helped them educate residents about the benefits of solar lighting, which include reduced electric bills.

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