Congrats to Memphis! And Passage of the Nation’s 500th Complete Streets Policy

Today the nation will celebrate passage of the 500th piece of “complete street” legislation. This is a major milestone toward achieving safe streets for everyone, regardless of age and ability. All eyes will be on Memphis, Tenn., which landed lucky No. 500. Through executive order, Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. has directed that new road facilities and major renovations accommodate all users and all means of travel. The city commits to building 15 miles of new protected bike lanes and will …

Transportation for Older Adults Requires a Tapestry of Funding Sources

“We desperately need that service in our community, but how do we fund it?” is a common complaint I hear across the country as communities try to meet the growing demand for transportation services. A recent publication, Weaving It Together: A Tapestry of Transportation Funding for Older Adults, addresses this important question. The report by the AARP Public Policy Institute highlights seven case studies that show how transportation providers in diverse communities combine federal grants with state, local and private-sector …

Active Living for All Ages: Creating Neighborhoods Around Transit

“You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl,” says Lila Sanger, who grew up in New York City and found her perfect retirement home in the Jefferson, an independent living condo complex in one of Arlington, Virginia’s dense urban neighborhoods near Metro. “I chose the Jefferson for two reasons: the location, and the location.” The extensive county transit network provides almost door-to-door service to Lila’s local haunts, such as …

Road Safety for Every Age

As part of Global Road Safety Week (May 6-12), AARP joins many other organizations, governments and individuals working to raise awareness about the dangers facing pedestrians. Walking is good for your health and it doesn’t cost a dime. Unfortunately, it isn’t always safe. A pedestrian in America is three times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than in Germany, and six times more likely to die than in the Netherlands. Many U.S. communities either lack sidewalks, have …

Public Transportation: Lifeline for Older Adults in Rural America

My AARP colleagues in Nebraska recently joined efforts to improve the delivery of transportation services in that state after an AARP volunteer spoke about his frustration trying to take his wife to an evening picnic sponsored by the local Alzheimer’s Association support group. His wife was a nursing home resident who needed to use a wheelchair, but none of the three specialized transportation providers in her area could accommodate her travel requirements. Her nursing home offered only medical transportation. Aging …

10 Principles for Creating Age-Friendly Communities

By Jana Lynott & Rodney Harrell What makes a community age-friendly? This question faces communities across the nation as the baby boomers age and the older population grows. Communities need to prepare now or they will find themselves struggling to catch up. Age-friendly communities treat all residents and visitors with respect, regardless of age, income or physical ability. They keep individuals socially connected and engaged in community life and they enhance opportunities to be healthy and active. These are communities …