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Traveling the Roads in Rhode Island: An AARP Member Survey

AARP Member Opinion Research

Being able to get from one place to another is essential to maintaining one's independence. As Americans continue to age and remain active in their communities, states will need to address older residents' capabilities and their need to remain mobile in their communities.

This mail survey of Rhode Island AARP members explores their experiences, evaluations and opinions relating to walking, taking public transportation and driving in their local communities and statewide. It also examines their views about traffic signage, transportation priorities, and improving pedestrian and driving conditions.

Of those surveyed:

  • 90 percent drive when they need to go somewhere and cite road and traffic conditions as problematic when driving

  • 16 percent walk and express some dissatisfaction with sidewalk availability, maintenance, and lighting in their communities

  • 6 percent take public transportation and are concerned about having shelter from the weather and some place to sit while waiting

Overall, about a third of driving respondents think street or highway and interstate signs are not readable at night while almost as many find street and highway signs confusing. Half say transportation priorities for Rhode Island should revolve around lighting on local streets, highways and interstates; brightness of lane markings, traffic signals, and signs; and longer merge lanes. Among walkers, 56 percent say allowing more time to cross the street at crosswalks should be a top or high transportation priority.

This mail survey of 1,063 AARP members in Rhode Island was conducted from April through June 2006. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting Brittne Nelson at 202-434-6307 or Katherine Bridges at 202-434-6329. (28 pages)

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