Harvard Report: U.S. ‘Unprepared’ to House Coming Wave of Older Adults

Post by Melissa Stanton, AARP: We’ve known for a long time that the U.S. population is rapidly aging due to increased longevity and the boomer population (all of whom will be 50-plus this year). The report “Housing America’s Older Adults: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population,” released today by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (with support of the AARP Foundation), makes very clear that both individually and as a nation we’re not ready for all that comes …

Reconnecting Small-Town America by Bus

Growing up in America’s heartland, my parents frequently put me and my sister on a Greyhound bus to visit our grandparents in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Along this three-hour trek from Ames, we would stop for passengers in six small towns. These were memorable opportunities to flex a bit of pre-driver independence and stay in touch with extended family. Today, my son could make the trip by bus between Ames and Cedar Rapids, but children from the smallest four towns along …

Trails Are for Recreation and Transportation!

When people use trails for recreation, exercise or transportation, they improve their health by lowering their risk for heart and weight-related problems. Regular walking or bicycling also has been shown to be very beneficial to mental health, reducing stress and combating depression. Many of the trips Americans take are very short. More than a quarter of trips are within a 20-minute walk and half are within a 20-minute bicycle ride. Often the barrier to walking or bicycling is not distance, …

The Infrastructure of Inequality

Put people first. That was a theme of the first national Walk Summit in Washington, D.C., Oct. 1-3. Unfortunately the message relayed by several participants was not encouraging. “I feel my life is worth less than nothing,” said one self-described vulnerable road user as she outlined the challenges of navigating our transportation system without a car. The Sunday before the Walk Summit, I was driving along a four-lane road in my neighborhood and was surprised to see a young man …

Are Your Streets Working for You? Part II

With today’s post, I want to pick up where I left off last time, when I wrote about bringing a “people first” focus to our streets. Let’s start by celebrating some of the people who are succeeding, which hopefully will embolden you to take up the same cause in your own town. The story I want to share is unfolding in Hamburg, N.Y., where the New York State Department of Transportation proposed major improvements 12 years ago for a one-mile …

Computer-Operated Car Takes Congressman for a Ride

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) yelled at his driver on the way to the airport on Sept. 6, but the driver didn’t even bother to respond. It was a computer. Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was testing a driverless car, designed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers, on a 30-mile ride to Pittsburgh International Airport. One of the researchers was positioned in the driver’s seat – just in case. (Or maybe to make sure that people in other …