Access, Aging, and Impairments Part A: Impairments and Behavioral Responses

This article serves as an introduction to a special issue on the impact of impairments to travel. The author notes that accessibility, defined as potential travel or the possibility of reaching a destination, is not equally distributed across society. Persons with physical or cognitive impairments often find it difficult or impossible to reach their desired destinations. A current thrust in the field of transportation aims to understand the impact of mobility impairments in order to design transport systems and networks that meet the needs of all travelers. The policy questions involved are complex because the concept of accessibility is tied to the characteristics and circumstances of individuals; i.e., improving accessibility for some might imply worsening it for others. The two-part special issue contains a total of eight papers and one letter addressing this topic. Part A focuses on the problems created by mobility impairments and on behavioral adaptations to overcome these problems. The author distinguishes between two concepts of accessibility, namely “access to infrastructure” and “access to destinations”; the former is concerned with the barriers that prevent people from using transportation systems, while the latter appears mainly in the land-use literature and refers to regional accessibility patterns. The papers in Part A cover topics include transit use by older people and the impact of the proximity of bus stops on the uptake of public transport; the influence of accessibility factors on mode choice; factors that influence mode choice for shopping trips, in particular those factors that might encourage travelers to use public transport; residential choices; and accessibility for those with cognitive impairments.


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  • Accession Number: 01142004
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 4 2009 6:46AM