Safe Routes for Seniors
T.A.'s Safe Routes for Seniors campaign started in 2003 with the primary goal of encouraging senior citizens to walk more by improving their pedestrian environment. Funded by the New York State Department of Health's Healthy Heart program, this was the first program of its kind to address the unique needs of elderly pedestrians and consider the role of street design in maintaining good cardiovascular health in old age.
Census data shows that more and more people are aging in place and New York City is a great city for people to grow old. However, after surveying hundreds of seniors citizens, there are many changes that need to be made to our streets to make New York a more comfortable environment for older residents.
With information gathered from dozens of site visits, interviews, surveys and workshops with seniors across the city, T.A. developed a number of design recommendations that should be adopted as standards to make streets safe for seniors. Designing streets specifically for seniors takes the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) one step further to accommodate sensory changes that occur as people age:
In 2008, the City of New York launched its own Safe Streets for Seniors initiative, modeled on T.A.'s efforts. T.A. is working to broaden the City's program to better account for where seniors live and where they gom and to apply a neighborhood-wide application of senior-priority traffic calming with important amenities for seniors such as more seating, more refuges and bus shelters.
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