Bad sidewalks, insufficient public transportation keep older Americans in their cars, report says
Americans over 50 are trying to drive less, but their efforts to go “green” are hindered by poor sidewalks and a lack of sufficient public transportation, according to a poll by the Washington-based AARP. What’s more, nearly half of the survey respondents said they did not feel safe crossing the main roads in their communities.
As a result, many states and cities are adopting “complete streets” policies to improve pedestrian safety. “Complete streets enable pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit riders to share the road safely with automobiles,” said Elinor Ginzler, AARP’s senior vice president for livable communities, in a statement. “More cities and states are adopting policies requiring their transportation agencies to ensure that roads are routinely designed or redesigned for all modes of travel.” Complete streets programs in Sacramento, Calif., and Kirkland, Wash., include extra-wide sidewalks and flashing lights embedded in crosswalks at busy intersections.
AARP also identified the 10 worst states or regions for fatalities involving pedestrians over 65. They are, in order, Hawaii, Alaska, New York, California, New Mexico, Delaware, New Jersey, Florida, the District of Columbia and Arizona. More information on complete streets programs is available at http://www.completestreets.org/documents/cs-gasprices-print.pdf.