Age-Friendly Funding Alert: Solomon Foundation’s ‘Streets for Recovery’

Jun 10, 2020

A dilemma facing communities right now is how to reopen while keeping residents safe through physical distancing. In a time when we’re required to maintain physical distance to protect public health, streets need to do more than ever.

Streets must be configured so that people are able to move safely and provide space so people can safely access food, essential services, and businesses.

Age-friendly communities have an opportunity to create quick, affordable, flexible adaptations to your public spaces right now as an emergency measure and that will play also an important role throughout the pandemic recovery for the next 12 to 18 months.

The Solomon Foundation can help your municipality plan for and pilot shared streets by providing technical assistance and $5,000 to $10,000 of start up funding for:

  • Strategic advice and coaching
  • Planning and design consulting services
  • Hiring a locally based project manager
  • Purchasing supplies for a pilot project
  • Public outreach and volunteer recruitment
  • Documenting the project and evaluating its impact

Rapid response infrastructure is popping up across North America and is known by many names:  Neighborhood Greenways, Neighborways (Somerville), Slow streets/Safe Streets (Portland), Stay Healthy Streets (Seattle), and even Urban Sanitary Corridors (Montreal).

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) HAS MORE LOCAL INFORMATION ON SHARING OUR STREETS, and the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ SITE is a great resource as well.

Municipalities and/or non-profits in partnership with municipalities are eligible to apply.  Priority will be given for projects that can be delivered quickly and that will benefit communities that have been most affected by COVID-19.

To get started please email Solomon Foundation Program Manager, ALLISON BURSON a short proposal for a streets for response and recovery initiative telling them:

  • Your name
  • Your location
  • Who you are working with on this (i.e. elected officials, city departments, non-profit groups, community groups, neighbors)
  • The need for a project
    • Tell them about places in your community where people can’t walk or bike or travel safely or places where there’s crowding and people need more space.
    • Describe the vulnerable populations you wish to serve. These groups may include older adults, communities of color, or low-income communities most impacted by the pandemic.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and the foundation may reach out to you for a phone call or zoom meeting for more information. If the choice is made to move forward, the foundation will work with you to refine the project scope and budget.

They ask for an in-kind match of staff time, volunteer hours, and/or materials if possible. The experience planning and installing a first pilot project should enable you to seek further funding to replicate that success and expand the program.