AARP Joins Campaign to Reform National Transpo Policy

AARP_bike.jpgPhoto: AARP

AARP announced today that it will join the Transportation for America campaign to advocate for a "broad restructuring" of national transportation policy. In a letter sent to Congressional leaders last week [PDF], AARP said that it is "working to enable older adults to live independently in their homes and communities throughout their lifespan, and transportation is critical to maintaining the community connections that make that possible."

Forty million Americans over the age of 50 belong to the organization,
which is increasingly focused on the
next federal transportation bill. "America is aging rapidly and transportation policy and spending must acknowledge this demographic shift," said AARP’s Nancy Leamond in a press statement. "The upcoming transportation authorization can help the nation prepare both for its graying years and a greener future by making roads safer for drivers of all ages and also offering more user friendly options for pedestrians and transit users."

AARP’s publications have been turning an eye toward the benefits of reducing car dependence and making streets safer for older Americans. Recent articles in the AARP Bulletin have examined Safe Streets for Seniors programs and the need to invest stimulus funds in infrastructure for walking, biking, and transit. An ongoing collaboration with Project for Public Spaces produced a series of three books about how citizens can improve their streets. You can meet the authors at a book launch and reception next Thursday at PPS’s office on Broadway and 4th Street.

  • mike

    Fantastic news!

  • Pat

    This is huge. AARP is a monster in lobbying and getting citizens to vote. Big things!

  • John

    So after many decades and untold billions spent on car-centric infrastructure that requires:
    1) good eyesight that can see not just street signs,
    but also other vehicles traveling at great speeds.
    and looking at long distances.
    2) quick reflexes to avoid accidents and debris on road.
    3) can endure long traveling times in traffic.
    4) requires one good arm to steer and a good right leg to drive a car.
    5) plenty of money to keep the car going ( repairs , gas, insurance ).
    try living on a fixed social security income or retirement money.
    401K anyone?

    Good going baby-boomers!!!

  • The firm that I work for recently held a charrette in the Atlanta region for transforming that city into a place of “Lifelong Communities.” The AARP was a big sponsor of the project and very, very supportive of the progressive transportation and planning agenda. After all, the growing number of active seniors who they represent are realizing that living isolated in retirement homes, surrounded by parking lots and cul-de-sacs, is not exactly what retirement dreams are made of.

  • Chris in Sacramento

    This is excellent news. In Sacto we’ve successfully collaborated with AARP on both state and local complete streets campaigns. AARP makes things happen.

  • Larry Littlefield

    If AARP isn’t demanding that public education be eliminated to fund limo rides for everyone over 55, there must be worried. Look to the subsidy levels.

    The only suburban senior transport we’ll be able to afford is dynamic carpolling, with younger seniors driving older seniors around.

    A paratransit vehicle with one or two riders and a driver who retires after 25 years is going to be very, very expensive. That is the sort of demand I’d expect out of AARP — with a half fare to boot.

    “More user friendly options for pedestrians and transit users.” Hmmm.

  • Most suburbs cannot be retrofitted into patterns that support transit use. Sorry, we can wish as much as we want, but it ain’t gonna happen.

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