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Pensacola, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Gonzalez Street Shareway in Pensacola is a wide, busy road dominated by cars. To demonstrate how the thoroughfare could accommodate both vehicles and pedestrians, Bike Pensacola conducted a one-day demonstration of traffic calming features. Bike Pensacola fabricated traffic circles and temporarily narrowed the roadway from four to two lanes. To test out the traffic control measures, about 300 bicyclists participated in a slow ride along the Shareway, cycling between three Pensacola parks. Additionally, Bike Pensacola partnered with local businesses and organizations to bring a local art market to the shareway including a sidewalk book sale, food trucks, self-guided walking tours and a scavenger hunt.

Carlsbad, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: This project set out to beautify Carlsbad's downtown and make walking safter. To do this, organizers repainted crosswalks with thermoplastic materials, which are designed to withstand the sun's rays. Over time, the crossing lines painted in many intersections had faded under the sun. The new crosswalks are more visible, which improves safety by helping drivers spot pedestrians crossing the street. Project organizers hope the improved streetscape draws more people downtown, supporting the local economy.

St. Paul, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Territorial Road in St. Paul is a busy arterial, with dozens of heavy trucks passing through every hour. High vehicle speeds pose a hazard for residents, many of whom are older adults and people with disabilities. This project set out to improve safety and beautify two intersections near the local light rail station. To do this, the St. Anthony Community Council installed artistic benches with planters, as well as a wall mural depicting an owl. Additionally, a local artist painted a Dakota-inspired design on a crosswalk, making it more visible to passing drivers.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

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.

Wetumpka, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Until Main Street Wetumpka saw the opportunity to create an outdoor community space, the dim alley connecting Company and Hill Streets in downtown Wetumpka served largely as a place to park cars. The local nonprofit worked to transform the alley into a sustainable, wheelchair accessible outdoor gathering space featuring greenery, moveable furniture and a live performance space. After a devastating tornado in early 2019, the Alleyway Project had to take a pause. But the project got back on track, with Main Street Wetumpka completing its work before other damage in the area was restored. Because of this, the alley activation became an inspiration for a wounded town. Now it's a lively spot for weekly events and a place for local workers to eat lunch outside. A project organizer said she hopes the alley's mural featuring historic Wetumpka figures helps connect young residents to their history inspires them to reach for the stars.

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