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Domain 2: Transportation

Tools and resources for working within the "8 Domains of Livability" to create livable communities for the benefit of older adults and people of all ages

Driving shouldn't be the only way to get around. Public transit options can be as expansive and as infastructure dependent as a train system or as targeted as a taxi service that provides non-drivers with rides to and from a doctor's office.

The following list of resources — from AARP and elsewhere — relate to Domain 2 of the "8 Domains of Livability." The content is categorized into three groups by level of difficulty, with the first group generally being the easiest reads for people new to this work and the third featuring deeper, data- and policy-heavy papers and reports.

Introductory and Easy-to-Use Resources

  • AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit
    This self-directed walk audit can take as little or as much time as desired by, say, spending 15 minutes at one busy corner or devoting several hours to documenting several roadways in a neighborhood. The survey download provides step-by-step instructions and checklists for examining intersections, sidewalks, driver behavior, public safety and more. (AARP)

  • Examples of Complete Streets Policies and Guides
    This list of 25 Complete Streets policy examples was compiled to assist states, cities, and communities that are considering implementing their own complete streets initiatives. (National Complete Streets Coalition)

  • 5 Questions for Katherine Freund
    The founder of ITN America explains how the transportation needs of older adults can be met if safe drivers of all ages would share a ride. (AARP)

  • Get Wheelchair Wise: A Wheelchair User’s Guide to Public Transport
    With accurate information and guidance, public transportation can be a viable option for all residents – regardless of age or physical ability. This guide provides information about the infrastructure and transit safety needs of wheelchair and scooter users. (United Kingdom Department of Transportation)

  • How to Get a Traffic Light Installed
    When pedestrians in South Austin, Texas, couldn’t safely cross the road, they spoke out, stepped up and succeed. (AARP)

  • How to Host a Ciclovia or Open Streets Program
    When roads are closed to cars and trucks (as Brownsville, Texas, does several times a year), people can safely walk, bicycle and even dance in the streets. (AARP)

  • Making a Place for Bicycles: Using Bicycle Parking Laws to Support Health, Business and the Environment
    The health of communities, revenue of local businesses and street environments all benefit from bicycle parking ordinances. This ChangeLab Solutions fact sheet provides a model parking ordinance that can "ease bicyclists' fears about finding a secure place to lock up." (ChangeLab Solutions)

  • Pedestrian Safety Workshop: A Focus on Older Adults
    Designed to advance the process of creating more pedestrian friendly environments, this 90-minute online workshop equips participants with ideas for how to improve walkability in their communities. (Road Safety Academy/National Highway Transportation Safety Association/University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center)

  • Public Transportation: Lifeline for Older Adults in Rural America
    Jana Lynott, a transportation expert with the AARP Public Policy Institute, discusses the lack of transportation services for rural residents who do not drive. (AARP)

Tool Kits and Comprehensive Overviews

  • A Citizens Guide to Better Streets: How to Engage Your Transportation Agency
    A comprehensive manual with practical advice for how individuals and groups can influence highway professionals to address transportation in ways that place the most value on people and on places. (AARP/Project for Public Spaces)

  • Complete Streets in the Southeast: A Tool Kit
    Communities in the southeastern United States are home to one in five of the nation’s 600+ Complete Streets policies, and transportation agencies, community leaders and residents are actively implementing Complete Streets practices. This tool kit takes a comprehensive look at those efforts and distills advice and lessons for others in the region. (AARP, National Complete Streets Coalition)
  • Complete Streets Policy Manual
    The roads in many cities are designed solely for vehicles and are not designed to accommodate the needs of all residents. This manual was created  to enhance communities’ awareness of Complete Streets policies and provide a framework for ratifying such policies on a local level. (AARP/ the Merritt C. Becker Jr. University of New Orleans Transportation Institute)

  • Creating a Road Map for Producing and Implementing a Bicycle Master Plan
    The guide examines three phases of a bicycle master plan project including how to generate interest among stakeholders prior to the development of a plan, creating a comprehensive plan that will meet the unique needs of the community, and establishing a purposeful strategy for implementing the plan. (AARP)

  • Livability Fact Sheet: Bicycling
    Riding a bicycle is a healthy, efficient way to get around. Here's how more communities can come along for the ride. (AARP and the WALC Institute)

  • Livability Fact Sheets: Economic Development
    A look at the many financial benefits for individuals, businesses and local governments of creating walkable, bike-friendly, livable and lively communities. (AARP and the WALC Institute)
  • Livability Fact Sheet: Modern Roundabouts 
    Every day in the U.S. more than 20 people are killed at traffic intersections, and many more are seriously injured Roundabouts — circular intersections that move traffic counterclockwise around a central island — can help reduce these deaths and injuries. (AARP and the WALC Institute)

  • Livability Fact Sheet: Parking
    The average American household has 1.9 vehicles, and finding a place to put them when not in use consumes land, time and money. Here's how we can do a better job parking our cars. (AARP and the WALC Institute)

  • Livability Fact Sheet: Road Diets
    Supersized, multilane roadways are fast-moving, unattractive and often impossible to cross. Learn how the streets near you can slim down, spruce up and become safer for all users. (AARP and the WALC Institute)

  • Livability Fact Sheet: Sidewalks
    Sidewalks play a vital role in community life – as conduits for pedestrian movement and access –they enhance connectivity and promote walking. Businesses, homeowners, renters, young people and older adults all like having sidewalks. So why are sidewalks so rare in so many places? (AARP and the WALC Institute)
  • Livability Fact Sheet: Traffic Calming
    Traffic calming is a system of design and management strategies that include modern roundabouts, narrowed roads, chicanes (intentionally added turns in the road), median islands, speed humps, diverters, speed tables and other engineering tools or interventions. (AARP and the WALC Institute)
  • One Call-One Click: Transportation Services Tool Kit
    One Call-One Click provides customer friendly mobility management solutions for community members of all ages, by providing customers with a single contact to find out about transportation services. This tool kit can help local planners and leaders determine whether these services are appropriate for their community. (United We Ride/Community Transportation Association)

  • Pedestrian Mobility and Safety Audit Guide
    Created to assist volunteers in improving the walkability and livability of their communities, the guide introduces volunteers to the technical, administrative, regulatory and social issues regarding pedestrian safety and mobility at intersections and road segments in their communities. (AARP/Institute of Transportation Engineers)

In-Depth Reports, Policy Papers and Analysis

  • Accessible Pedestrian Signals: A Guide to Best Practices
    The report and case studies from the U.S. and abroad examines traffic signals and modern intersection design as related to the needs of pedestrians who are blind or who have low vision. (National Cooperative Highway Research Program)

  • Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options: Fixing the Mobility Crisis Facing the Baby Boom Generation
    The report highlights the importance of increasing transit options for older adults in order to foster mobility and the opportunity to age in place. (Transportation for America)

  • Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook
    Based on examples from around the country, this workbook contains explanations of the various forms a Complete Streets policy may take and the elements of an ideal Complete Streets policy. (National Complete Streets Coalition, Smart Growth America)

  • Complete Streets in the Southeast: A Tool Kit
    Of the more than 600 Complete Streets projects in place across the U.S., almost 20 percent can be found in the Southeast. Of significant value and interest are the tool kit’s six case studies and nine state-specific fact sheets. The case studies report about Complete Streets efforts in Birmingham, Ala.; Broward County, Fla.; Decatur, Ga.; New Orleans, La.; Greenville, S.C.; and Memphis, Tenn. Each write-up ends with a “lessons-learned” conclusion." (AARP, Smart Growth, National Complete Streets Coalition)

  • Evaluating Complete Streets Projects: A Guide for Practitioners
    The guide, which was released in March 2015, provides an introduction to project evaluation that focuses on multimodal goals and the needs of all individuals using the system. It includes general steps communities can take to evaluate projects, useful measures and metrics for common Complete Streets goals, tips for how to use these measures to tell the story of a project once it is completed and a list of in-depth resources for communities ready to take the next step. (AARP, Smart Growth America, and National Complete Sheets Coalition)

  • Expanding Specialized Transportation: New Opportunities Under the Affordable Care Act
    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides new but limited opportunities to promote or fund specialized transportation services for older people and adults with disabilities. (AARP)

  • Guidance for the Design and Application of Shoulder and Centerline Rumble Strips
    The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) provides this report as an effective motor vehicle crash reduction measure, while minimizing adverse effects for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and nearby residents. (National Cooperative Highway Research Program)

  • Livability in Transportation Guidebook: Planning Approaches that Promote Livability
    This guide illustrates how livability principles have been successfully incorporated into transportation planning, programming, and project design. (U.S. Department of Transportation)

  • The Road Ahead: Implementing Complete Streets Policies
    Stories of successful Complete Streets efforts by AARP state offices in Vermont, Hawaii, Indiana and Washington state. (AARP)

Published Summer 2015. Compiled by Katelyn Dwyer and Joseph Cheatham.

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