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Cedar City, UT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Iron City Tourism Bureau hoped to improve walkability along three blocks of the Cedar City's University Boulevard. To do this, the organization created an artistic crosswalk at a busy intersection, which both beatified the crossing and made it more visible to drivers. The Bureau also commissioned a mural nearby to commemorate the city's connection to Utah's national parks. To encourage people to walk and gather, they installed benches along the boulevard. New signs directed pedestrians to nearby attractions and services. Following the improvements, the Bureau reported slower traffic speeds. More murals and crosswalk art are in the works and the Bureau is advocating for bike lanes in the neighborhood.

Macon-Bibb County, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Using public art, Bike Walk Macon set out to improve pedestrian safety in three high-traffic corridors near community centers. First, project organizers gathered feedback from residents of the East Macon, Pleasant Hill and South Macon neighborhoods. They then commissioned two local artists to design on-street murals and artistic crosswalks. With help from volunteers, the artists painted the designs onto the pavement during three Open Streets events. Organizers say they compiled lessons learned from the placemaking initiative into a toolkit for future traffic calming projects. And since creating the crosswalks, Bike Walk Macon has completed similar interventions in other neighborhoods.

Malvern, AR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To improve pedestrian visibility and safety, the Malvern-Hot Spring County Library created a colorful crosswalk. Project organizers report the crosswalk has visibly slowed down approaching traffic. A local group -- the Ouachita River Art Guild -- designed and painted the crosswalk with a floral design. Library also worked with local master gardeners to create a pollinator garden and added a story trail. The trail includes sign posts displaying pages from a children's storybook, which can be rotated out as needed to provide visitors with new reading material.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Washington, DC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Capturing data and feedback from residents

Description: The 1882 Foundation hoped to strengthen community identity and increase civic engagement in DC's Chinatown, particularly among older adults. The Foundation designed a digital map featuring stories about places with historical and cultural significance to the neighborhood's longtime community members, including past and present residents and leaders. The Foundation distributed storytelling kits, which included tools to help participants tell their stories by writing and recording audio. Project organizers provided storytellers with bilingual instructions in English and Mandarin. To promote the initiative, the Foundation held a Mid-Autumn Festival event at the Wah Luck House, an affordable housing complex. Organizers say the digital platform will help inform urban planning policies by ensuring community priorities are included in redevelopment proposals for Chinatown.

Washington, DC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: To increase older adults' mobility, the Capitol Hill Village worked to raise residents' awareness of the local transportation offerings. The nonprofit offered social events and educational programming to teach more than 100 residents how to get around without driving. The trainings covered pedestrian safety and provided older adults with in-depth information on transportation services, including the Metrorail system, Capital Bikeshare and local paratransit service. Project organizers say participants increased their knowledge of and confidence using local transportation options.

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