Too Many Lives Cut Short on Our Nation’s Roads

In 2009, a truck struck and killed Beverly Shelton’s grandson, Zachary, who was walking inside a marked crosswalk and accompanied by an adult. The driver had rolled through the stop sign rather than make a complete stop. Since the time of Zachary’s death, another 32,000-plus pedestrians have been killed in the United States. A pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes on our nation’s roads. Unfortunately, these tragedies are rising at a distressing rate. From 2009 …

Grandchild’s Death Highlights Need to Protect Pedestrians

  Once upon a time there was an awesome little boy named Zach. I called him “Zachy Pooh.” His dad and mom called him “Buddy.” Zach loved school, music, the Beatles, outer space, and everything involving transportation — especially trains. He loved his mom, dad, and new little brother Miles, whom he nicknamed “Mr. M.” He called me “Grandma Beverly.” On the afternoon of Feb. 27, 2009, everything changed. That morning, my own son dropped his little boy off at the …

Investing in Transportation Strengthens the Economy and Saves Lives

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer travel. But our nation’s transportation system is fraying at the seams. The pride we once took in the roads, bridges, and rails built by the Greatest Generation has given way to daily frustration at the disrepair that makes it harder to get where we need to go. The recent Amtrak tragedy is yet another sign that our transportation infrastructure is not what it needs to be. It’s time to invest in the future. …

Pedestrian Fatalities Map: Check Out a Corner Near You

Three years ago the “Dangerous by Design” report noted that between the years 2000 and 2009 the number of vehicle-caused pedestrian deaths was equivalent to “a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing roughly every month.” Subscribe today! AARP Livable Communities Newsletter Streets engineered for speeding traffic with little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on bicycles are “dangerous by design,” explains the National Complete Streets Coalition, the Smart Growth America program behind the report (of which AARP is a sponsor). …

Improving Towns One Walk at a Time

Throughout the year, even yesterday, my birthday, I get together with residents and leaders of communities to do something that is too rare these days: walk. And not just to walk for fun, but to help people see their streets through a new lens, one that focuses on how street design either supports or discourages active living and active transportation. Usually during these “walking audits,” as we call them, curious motorists gawk at the strange sight of people actually – …

How Complete Are Your Streets?

I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Most Americans have probably done it. So, what’s the big deal? I’m talking about jaywalking. And not the kind Leno does on the Tonight Show.