Creating a Safe Routes for Seniors Program
In urban environments throughout the country, children and older adults represent a disproportionate percentage of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Many of these places have long established “Safe Routes to School” programs and policies for children, but are at a loss when it comes to making streets safer for older adults. As more people age in place and the population as a whole is living longer, creating streets that are easy, enjoyable and safe for older adults is crucial in urban environments.
This course uses seven chapters to outline the components of a program to improve street safety for senior citizens and promote the cardiovascular health of local older adults in urban areas. After watching this course you will understand the differences between “Safe Routes” for children and older adults and the steps you should take to get these programs off the ground, using concepts proven to work in New York City.
Amy Pfeiffer, your instructor, is a transportation planner and principal of PFoundation Works. She has over 11 years experience in transportation planning working with Nelson Nygaard, Transportation Alternatives, and The New York City Department of City Planning.
An introduction to the course, learning objectives, and why we should design streets for senior citizen pedestrians.2:32m
2. What is Safe Routes for Seniors?
This chapter discusses the five main elements of the overall Safe Routes for Seniors program, which to helps communities redesign intersections to make it easier and safer for seniors to cross the street. The elements of the program are: Community based planning; Surveying seniors; Walking tours; Street design recommendations; and Implementation.4:36m
3. Why Plan Streets For Senior Pedestrians?
This chapter covers some of the primary issues associated with why planning streets with senior citizens in mind is an essential part of planning strong communities. Not only are senior citizens living longer, healthier lives, but many are making the choice to move to or stay in urban areas where life doesn’t revolve around driving. The topics in this chapter are: Statistics of senior citizens and traffic crashes; Aging in place; Giving up driving; Serving all modes.2:25m
4. The Senior Pedestrian
This chapter discusses the unique behavioral characteristics of senior citizen pedestrians that are important to consider in the street design process.6:39m
5. How to Begin a Safe Routes for Seniors Program
This chapter looks at several steps to starting a safe routes for senior program. The topics covered in this section include: Determining where there are needs by using traffic crashes to determine "hot spots"; Mapping senior centers and service providers; New York City Department of Transportation's Safe Streets for Seniors program; and, Defining the goals of the program: Policy vs. project.6:40m
6. Initial Outreach to Senior Citizens
This chapter provides several ideas on how to start the outreach process of a Safe Routes for Seniors program and some activities that can take place with local seniors to get input on where changes to the street environment should take place. The topics in this section include: Strong community leaders = strong community based planning; Building consensus early; Developing a survey; Conducting the survey; and Using the survey results for recommendations.4:31m
7. Site Visits/Walking Tours
This chapter prepares you for the site visit or walking tour portion of this program. The topics covered in this chapter are: Your role as a planner in this activity, Who to invite to walk with you, and what types of data you should collect while walking.4:03m
8. Making Recommendations & Implementation
The goal of making streets safer for local senior citizens relies on making street design recommendations that can be easily implemented. This chapter looks at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, NY as an example of how safe street recommendations were used to make this place easier and more enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. The topics in this final chapter include: Using information to make recommendations; Making recommendations; Implementing recommendations; and Continue the Momentum!6:48m