According to the U-S Census Bureau – the number of Americans aged 65 and older will nearly double over the next 20 years…and concern over how they’ll maintain their independence and mobility is growing too. And advancing medical technologies, better diets and exercise means more of them will be healthier longer. But what happens when they can’t get where they want to go anymore?
That’s exactly the question posed to policy makers, transportation planners, law enforcement officials and aging advocates at a forum this week in Kissimmee. Judy Thames is President of Florida’s AARP…the event’s sponsor.
“Many older people in Florida particularly…their transportation is strictly the automobile. And when they get to be 85 and 90 and really are having problems being able to drive they literally become homebound because there are such poor transportation options available to them.”
Thames says the forum hopes to create a relationship between people who deal with transportation issues on all levels…and raise awareness among them of the need for not only safer roads but better and more accessible public transportation options.
Transportation experts, road planners and members of the law enforcement community are gathering in Central Florida this week for a forum on senior mobility issues called “What will you do when your car won’t take you where you want to go”?
The A-A-R-P event not only promotes safe driving for seniors…but also ways for city planners to create more livable communities with broader transportation options built right into them.
Florida AARP President – Judy Thames – says more and better public transportation is critical…
“But more than that we need people when they’re doing the infrastructure, when they’re building the roads…we need lighted street names, we need bigger stop signs…there are a number of things that we could do that would not only be good for older people but would be good for anybody in terms of safe driving.”
Thames says simple ideas like these can be put into action…but only if planners and policymakers have them on their agendas.
And by bringing these people together for a forum, she hopes to start a dialogue that eventually spreads into all aspects of transportation planning in Florida.
Friday, 30 June 2006 01:00