Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycle Infrastructure

Leaving Cars Behind, Seniors Find Streets Inhospitable

1431951650_b0764494d8.jpgA recent poll conducted by AARP finds that Americans over the age of 50 are cutting down on car trips due to rising gas prices, but are finding public infrastructure, or lack thereof, to be an obstacle.

Almost one of every three people (29%) polled say they are now walkingas a way to avoid high gas prices. But as those people set out to walk,almost 40% of the 50+ population say they do not have adequatesidewalks in their neighborhoods. Additionally, 44% say they do nothave nearby public transportation that is accessible. Almost half (47%)of poll responders say they cannot cross the main roads safely – 4 in10 pedestrian fatalities are over the age of 50.

Still, 40 percent of poll respondents say they have walked, biked, or taken public transit more frequently since gasoline prices began trending upward. More than half, 54 percent, say they would use alternate modes of transportation if conditions were improved.

As older New Yorkers can attest, impediments to car-free mobility are not exclusive to suburbs and exurbs. Washington, DC, for example, ranks ninth -- better than Arizona but worse than Florida -- in pedestrian fatalities among those over age 65, according to AARP. (New York state is third worst, behind Hawaii and Alaska.)

With some 35 million members, AARP is a formidable lobby. As a member of the National Complete Streets Coalition and backer of legislation that would steer federal funds toward making roadways accessible to all users, it promises to be a player in next year's big transportation appropriations bill.

Photo: Tuan Phan/Flickr

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Friday’s Headlines: Hochul’s Fantasy World Edition

The governor has gone off the deep end. Plus other news.

July 19, 2024

Speaker Adams: Council May Not Use its ‘Sammy’s Law’ Power to Lower Speed Limits

The Council may not lower the speed limit, even though it fought so hard to get that very right from the state legislature.

July 19, 2024

Parks Dept. Has Money But No Timeline to Finish Eastern Queens Greenway

There's tens of millions of dollars for the greenway, so when will parks build it?

July 19, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Paris is a Lot Cooler than NYC Edition

The City of Light has figured out how to reduce the heat island effect. Plus other news in today's daily digest.

July 18, 2024

Exclusive: Legal Team Announced for Suit Against Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Attorneys from three firms have inked a joint defense agreement to fight "the governor’s illegal decision to cancel congestion pricing," Comptroller Brad Lander said.

July 17, 2024
See all posts