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Sioux Falls, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: This demonstration project had the goal of calming traffic and improving the streetscape for pedestrians. Downtown Sioux Falls used paint to create temporary bumpouts -- or curb extensions -- at a local crosswalk, which shortened the distance pedestrians spent in the street. They also used large planters to create a physical barrier between pedestrians and cars and added reflective delineators to make crosswalks more visible at night. A camera installed onsite helped capture data about traffic and pedestrian behavior during the pop-up project. The result: Drivers actually slowed down said Joe Batcheller, the organization's president. The project helped reduce speeds by 20 percent on average. Project organizers say the demonstration sparked a cultural shift around pedestrian safety. Since the pop-up, the City has painted curb bumpouts in other locations.

Tucson, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Bikeability

Description: This project will expand an adaptive cycling center where people aged 50 with disabilities can enjoy the physical, emotional and social benefits of cycling.

Boston, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To encourage walking, Boston installed benches in Main Street neighborhood districts across the city. Older adults tested and approved the benches and worked with the City to identify the best locations for them. The initiative's guiding principle was that making walking safe and comfortable for older adults creates a better environment for people of all ages. Project organizers report residents were eager to use the new benches. In fact, as Department of Public Works staff were finishing up an installation, a few people were often waiting to take a seat. The benches contribute to vibrant public spaces near businesses and merchants say they appreciate the increased foot traffic. Project organizers say the installations helped develop a city-wide framework for a sustainable bench program, addressing installation and long-term maintenance.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Scarborough, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project enhanced three community gardens, two of which are used exclusively to feedundernourished residents, as well a program that provides supplemental heating assistance and home repairs to older adults.

Old Orchard Beach, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Old Orchard Beach Community Friendly Connection reenergized a neighborhood block, organizing residents to clean up, restore and refresh the Washington Avenue District and Atlantic Courts Park. A sidewalk and crosswalk painting project brightened the area and encouraged locals to walk. To improve public safety, the town also worked with the local cable and electric companies to mount a security camera near the park's basketball court and convert the court's lighting to LED. After the project was complete, about 250 people attended a block party to celebrate, with residents voting to rename the area Washington Square. Nearby businesses and community groups have ridden the momentum and made improvements to their properties as well. Those living in the neighborhood report they walk through the area more often since the transformation.

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