A recent nationwide survey conducted by AARP reports that 40 percent of seniors do not have adequate sidewalks in their neighborhoods, 44 percent do not have access to public transit, and nearly half cannot cross main roads in their communities safely. The New York Office for the Aging produced this section of the Livable New York Resource Manual, an excellent overall resource, to emphasize the impact transportation and mobility has on the livability of a community and the capability of older residents to age in place.
This section of the resource manual discusses the role transportation and mobility play in enhancing the quality of life for all community residents, especially senior residents who no longer drive but still need access to community resources and services. Different transportation options are addressed in this section of the manual, along with the benefits each alternative offers to senior residents and the community as a whole. The availability of transportation and mobility options is an important element in providing livable communities for older adults by helping them maintain their independence and, in many cases, improving their overall health and well-being through increased physical activity and social interaction.
Livable community mobility and transportation features include:
- Complete streets – a strategy for community development and design that aims to provide mobility for all residents by maximizing the number of transit options available. Complete streets encourage walking and biking as viable means of transportation for older adults to access community services and remain engaged in the community.
- Older Driver Assistance Networks – transportation systems that assist older adults in remaining safely behind the wheel and provide support for seniors who can no longer safely drive without presenting a risk to themselves or others.
- Public transit systems – systems that allow for older adults and all community residents to access services and amenities while reducing the need for personal cars. Such systems alleviate the risk of social isolation and improve older residents’ sense of independence.
How to Use
Planners, community leaders, and local officials can use this section of the resource manual to understand the impact mobility and transportation have on community livability. By understanding the benefits of different transportation options, planners and local officials can create transportation plans that will accommodate the specific mobility needs of their older residents.