Driving Around in Circles Is a Good Thing

Really, it is. So long as the circle you’re driving in is a modern roundabout. Unlike traditional roundabouts, rotaries or traffic circles, which can be terrifyingly large, complex and fast (Paris’s Arc de Triomphe sits at the center of one such risky round roadway), modern roundabouts are smaller, simpler and slower. Subscribe Today! AARP Livable Communities Newsletter In fact, by making the streets that pass through neighborhoods slower and narrower, modern roundabouts help roads become safer for motorists and pedestrians. …

Walking to the White House

Updated May 13, 2014: If Dan Burden could have walked the 2,745 miles from Port Townsend, Wash., where he lives and works, and arrive in Washington, D.C., by May 13, there’s a good chance he’d have done so. As cofounder of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, Burden travels the nation (and points beyond) helping cities, towns and neighborhoods become more walkable. His efforts earned him an invitation to the White House, where he was recognized as a “Transportation Ladders …

Aloha, Complete Streets!

To tourists and aspiring tourists, Hawaii typically means tropical beaches, balmy breezes, beautiful scenery and, perhaps, pineapple. To residents, Hawaii is all those things, as well as being a place where it’s sometimes a challenge to safely cross the road. Sign up for the Livable Communities Newsletter   In the spring of 2012 the Honolulu City Council passed a Complete Streets ordinance to put important street safety concepts into practice so the region’s roads could better serve residents, whether they’re …

Creating Age-Friendly Communities in Canada

Great models for living abound with our Canadian neighbors to the north, who are building wonderful mixed-age, mixed-use communities that offer independent living for their elders. Consider the municipalities of Vernon and Langley in British Columbia, where I recently spent time helping them lay out walkability ground rules for age-friendly neighborhoods. Vernon is the smaller of the two, with a population of 60,000. The city has an intact, prosperous downtown, with many restored and new multistory buildings for seniors in …

Active Transportation

Active transportation connects people and places. It provides access to jobs, education, shopping, transit and recreation. In short, trails, bike pathways and greenways make for great places to live and to visit. Next time you see one of those “America’s Best Places to Live” lists that magazines often compile, you’ll notice that most of these heralded communities have one thing in common: a great trail system and safe places to walk and bike. Billings, Mont., is one such community. Long …

Getting From Point A to Point B ­for Free!

Cost can sometimes be a deterrent for many seeking to ride the bus or train. Luckily, various communities around the country have an easy solution to this problem via free bus systems. These cost-free transportation systems are an excellent resource for residents of all ages. However, they introduce a unique opportunity for boomers looking for a simple way to get around, especially in cases when biking or walking isn’t an option. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter In …