Safe Routes Scoop

Senior Walkability in NJ:
Making Improvements One Step at a Time

to factors such as high speed traffic, uneven surfaces and intermittent sidewalk facilities. She added that most suburban communities have some areas amenable to safe walking, but those areas are not always in the desired origin and destination locales seniors may seek to travel. Alexander noted that creating walking programs/clubs and holding events such as the Caldwell senior mobility workshop will help identify ways to increase safe walking opportunities for senior residents.

 

Conclusion
Seniors represent a growing population that must be accommodated. Walking provides them with the opportunity for enhanced mobility, freedom and many health benefits.  Walking also provides a means of travel for those no longer able to drive themselves, as well as an alternative for those who choose not to drive as frequently. The standard planning process often does not fully accommodate seniors by failing to account for their special needs. It is important though that we consider seniors when planning our communities. After all, by planning for the needs of our senior populations, everyone in our communities benefit.

 

Useful Links

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Stepping Out Manual (Be Healthy, Walk Safely)
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/olddrive/SteppingOut/index.html

 

Transportation Alternatives: Safe Routes for Seniors
http://www.transalt.org/campaigns/pedestrian/safeseniors

 

Partnership for Prevention, Creating Communities for Active Aging:  A Guide to Developing a Strategic Plan to Increase Walking and biking by Older Adults in Your Community
http://www.prevent.org/images/stories/Files/publications/Active_Aging.pdf

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