According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2030 individuals age 65+ will make up 20 percent of the total U.S. population. AARP produced this report to analyze the results of a survey completed by AARP Rhode Island members. The 2006 survey addressed members’ experiences, evaluations, and opinions about walking, driving, and public transportation in their community and across the state.
To better understand the opinions of its older adult population regarding walking and driving conditions, as well as public transportation in their communities, AARP Rhode Island conducted this survey with 1,063 members age 50 and older. The resulting feedback demonstrated that the majority of Rhode Island members are mobile and drive themselves around when they need to go somewhere. These seniors drive on highways and interstates and consider poor road conditions, traffic congestion, lane visibility, and signage readability to be major problems when driving. “Transportation measures that will enable seniors to age in place while remaining active in their community will be critical to Rhode Islanders’ quality of life.”
Other report highlights include:
- One in six Rhode Island seniors walks when they need to go somewhere. Of those who walk, 56 percent say that allowing more time to cross the street at crosswalks should be a top transportation priority.
- About one in three respondents has difficulty reading street signs at night and states that there is not adequate lighting for night driving.
- Seventy-one percent of respondents stated they are aware of public transportation options in their communities, yet only six percent utilize public transportation.
How to Use
The report analyzes results from a survey conducted with AARP members to determine the main driving priorities of senior drivers and walkers in Rhode Island. As the state plans for the future, addressing issues with driving, walking, and public transportation will allow Rhode Island to promote a high quality of life for all residents. Planners and government officials can use this report as a resource to gain an understanding of how to make streets safer for older drivers and walkers in their community. By understanding the main transportation priorities and concerns of seniors, community planners and local officials will be able to better accommodate their mobility needs and allow for aging in place.