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National Community Challenge Selects 3 Arkansas Projects


Friday, July 20, 2018   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Three Arkansas cities are getting a financial boost for projects that will help improve life in their communities.

AARP's Community Challenge grant program is distributing $1.3 million to help fund 129 projects across the country that will improve safety, transportation, parks, access to housing and more.

The city of Little Rock is among the grant winners here in Arkansas, and Bike and Ped Coordinator John Landosky says they'll be implementing a program that will provide driver's education about their rights and responsibilities to keep bikers and drivers safe.

"We're just so excited to get this award,” says Landosky. “Honestly, we have a pedestrian-safety problem in the city of Little Rock and we have a bicycle-safety problem. I'm so happy we're able to finally couple this community outreach component with some of the new innovations that we're rolling out, infrastructure-wise."

Grants will go to the city of Morrilton and the Conway Downtown Partnership.

Morrilton will be installing hammock farms around town to provide a safe and relaxing space for residents. And in Conway, a bike-corral project will create a safe space for bicyclists to park while they enjoy the downtown area.

In order to improve the livability of a community, Conway Downtown Partnership director Kim Williams says improvement projects should allow residents of all ages to make the most out of where they live.

"When you're looking at city building and things like that, we try to look at what's good for people that are age eight to age 80,” says Williams. “So what's good for youngsters is also good for our older population. So encouraging people to be able to walk and to ride bikes and to feel safe while doing that."

This is the second year for the challenge, which encourages fast-action projects. This year's deadline for completion is November 5th.

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