AARP awards city of Richardson $15,200 grant for mobility improvements

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Richardson is one of three Texas cities to be awarded a grant through the AARP Community Challenge.

The city will receive $15,200 to replace one northbound and one southbound lane on Greenville Avenue with temporary bicycle lanes, the city's Planning Projects Manager Doug McDonald said. Traffic counts on that stretch are much lower than what the street is built to handle, so the temporary removal of driving lanes should not affect motorists, he said.

“This really helps with improving the mobility along [the] Greenville Avenue corridor and connecting those folks who work in the innovation district to be able to hop on their bike and easily get to east side for lunch or down to The Core [District] for lunch or coffee, and so really it provides a great connection along the Greenville Avenue corridor,” McDonald said in a statement.

The installation—which is part of the city's innovation district project—is also meant to test effectiveness of the improvements, which could become permanent if successful, McDonald said. Consultants with Kimley-Horn will collect data on traffic speeds, counts and pedestrian experiences throughout the project's duration, he said.

The money will also fund an at-grade crossing at the Arapaho Center Dallas Area Rapid Transit Station that will allow riders to bypass the existing tunnel under Greenville when attempting to make a bus transfer, McDonald said. This should address safety concerns as well as make the bus transfer process quicker and more efficient, he said.

"This will decrease the distance for folks because the crosswalk will be between [the] bus transfer station and the parking lot," he said.

The Community Challenge initiative launched in 2017 and is intended to help cities make immediate improvements that support residents of all ages. This year, the grant program will distribute a total of $1.6 million to 159 communities.

“AARP’s teams on the ground across the country hear from mayors, local leaders and residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change," said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy & engagement officer, in a statement. "We developed the Community Challenge grant program to answer that call and help build momentum for more livable communities nationwide."
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By Olivia Lueckemeyer

Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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