How to provide Washington, D.C.’s, older adults with safe, efficient and affordable transportation is the focus of Moving an Age-Friendly D.C.: Transportation for All Ages, a report published by the Coalition for Smarter Growth in September 2014.
By 2017, officials want D.C. to be a World Health Organization-defined “age-friendly” city for older adults. A report released by the Coalition for Smarter Growth today finds that, while the city has policies in place that work toward this goal, there are many improvements to pedestrian and transportation infrastructure needed.
The city has made strides in recent years to improve public transportation and the street environment for both pedestrians and cyclists with new bike lanes, improved crosswalks and new forms of transportation. CSG finds there is more work to be done, especially when it comes to accommodating older adults who make up 11% of the current population and will soon be joined by the aging cohort of Baby Boomers who account for 17% of the D.C. population.
DC is doing a lot to be a more age-friendly place, but there are still many ways the city could do more. In particular, local policymakers and planners can focus on three areas to help DC’s older adults get around more easily: pedestrian safety, public transit, and alternative transit options. All of these, along with better mobility management options, will make it possible for seniors to have better choices and feel more comfortable in their communities as they age.
Of course, there is no place like home. But when you’re an elderly resident of the District, sometimes it seems that there is no place to go without significant barriers. Senior citizens make up 11% of Washington DC’s population. And living in a city that requires mobility to take advantage of brings more challenges with advanced age. To keep the capital amenable to the elderly while on the go, it seems necessary to focus on three things: pedestrian safety, public transit, and alternative transit options.
The city has had a long backlog of sidewalks that need repair. “A poorly maintained sidewalk is a tremendous barrier to a senior who is fearful of tripping and falling,” says Cheryl Cort, policy director at the Coalition for Smarter Growth.
Moving an Age-Friendly DC: Transportation for All Ages encourages local decision-makers and advocates to respond to the needs of an increasing population of older adults by focusing on age-friendly transportation options. Following national best practices in three areas – the pedestrian environment, fixed-route public transit, and alternative specialized transportation – CSG assessed the District’s progress towards becoming an age-friendly city.