Getting Around in an Aging Society

America's population is aging, and planners must start working now to meet the transportation needs of an older society. This article describes some issues related to aging drivers and mobility options that impact community planning and public transportation. One such concern is parking for disabled drivers and passengers. Although many elderly persons hold parking permits that allow them special parking privileges, supply has not kept up with demand. For older citizens who must limit their driving, community buses that are smaller and more flexible than regular transit buses can be a lifeline to independence. These buses, which should be fully accessible, often serve as a feeder service to the larger public transportation system. The variations in vehicles, routes and operating structures reflect the needs and values of the jurisdictions that operate this mode of transportation. In some communities, neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are beginning to appear on neighborhood streets and bike lanes. The NEVs travel up to 25 mph, are equipped with safety features like automobiles, and are legal to drive on most streets where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less. These vehicles are common at resorts and senior communities, and are useful for people of all ages with mobility impairments. As urban planners design communities to accommodate the needs of seniors, they need to consider adding multiuse paths for NEVs, providing more van-accessible parking spaces, and working with bus manufacturers to develop small, reliable, low-floor transit vehicles.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Hunter-Zaworski, Katharine
  • Publication Date: 2007-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 22-25
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01050185
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 27 2007 11:54PM