the street and have a harder time negotiating everyday obstacles, such as curbs and sidewalks.
While functional limitations are often part of the natural process of aging, our built environment provides obstacles that hinder mobility. Pedestrian facility design and maintenance is critical to a walkable environment for seniors. Poor maintenance and design result in poor walking conditions and pose barriers to accessibility. In addition, although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that pedestrian facilities be constructed to be accessible for the disabled, these guidelines are not always followed.
Some examples of poor maintenance include intersections with faded crosswalk striping or no striping at all. These poorly maintained intersections fail to alert either the pedestrian or the driver that the pedestrian has priority to cross at that location. Also, crumbling or missing sidewalk segments present a major obstacle for those with mobility impairments, especially those who require wheelchairs or walkers. Lighting, traffic congestion, speed, and safety/security concerns can also pose barriers to safe senior walking in our communities.
Design practices also pose dangers to the elderly. Intersections that are designed for higher speed auto turns can be intimidating to seniors,