Sidewalks and pedestrian crossings are an important feature in any community. Adequate sidewalks and pedestrian crossings that meet ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) needs, are well maintained year round, and easily accessible ensure the safety of community members and tourists. These are key features of a community that promotes active and independent older adults. This is essential to build an inclusive community and to help prevent social isolation as we age. A community that has an inviting infrastructure, such as safe, accessible sidewalks and pedestrian crossings encourages active transportation by all, which also promotes a healthy community. (Frameworks Institute, 2017)
**In order to maximize your communication and productivity with your audience, please reference the best practices created by The Frameworks Institute on the Characteristics main page.
Data to inform the discussion around this characteristic.
- “Complete streets” policies (e.g., sidewalks in good conditions, frequent and safe pedestrian crossing, median islands, bicycle lanes) (potential data source: City/Town Planning and Public Works Departments)
Activities to help contextualize this characteristic.
- Sidewalks and Streets Survey – AARP Sidewalks and Streets Toolkit. This toolkit will walk you through how to conduct a walking audit to help you create a more walking-friendly community.
- Walking Audit – This site describes what a walking audit is, and provides several other resources to suit your needs.
Success Stories from local communities.
- Safe Routes for Seniors This presentation uses an example from New York City Chinatown’s Elder District to make its streets safer for pedestrians.
- Park-to-park loop in Shawano
Resources and other ideas for next steps.
Resources and further reading:
Ideas for next steps:
- New York City’s Safe Streets for Seniors has several examples of ways they approached the issue of pedestrian fatalities among older adults
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