Making Streets Safer for Seniors on Foot
DOT conducts safety assessments of senior neighborhoods to improve the safety of seniors walking on streets. These improvements include extending pedestrian crossing times at crosswalks in order to accommodate slower walking speeds, building pedestrian safety islands, widening curbs and medians, and installing stop signals and signals. It is also important that seniors are considered when choosing their behavior. In a senior neighborhood, walking and bicycling are common activities, and DOT will make these areas safer for senior citizens.
Since its inception, the Making Streets Safer for Seniors program at the DOT has been working for many years to improve pedestrian safety for seniors in New York. The program studies crash data, conducts outreach, and develops mitigation measures to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists in senior neighborhoods. Senior pedestrian safety is a priority of DOT because it is one the leading causes of preventable injury, death, and injury in New York City.
“Walking Out for Us!” is the pedestrian safety workshop. “Walking Out for Us! – A Conversation on Making Streets safer for Seniors” discusses ways to make pedestrian environments safer. Participants will learn how to spot unsafe driving behavior and how to encourage walking for their health. Participants will receive practical tips and information that will help them improve their local walking environment. These tips will be beneficial to local municipalities and enforcement departments as they implement safer streets for older adults.
The perception of seniors’ outdoor-walking behaviours is influenced by the macro-built environment attributes of safety and aesthetics. These attributes can have a negative effect on outdoor walking, especially if the neighbourhoods lack good pedestrian infrastructure or aesthetics. Seniors may opt to walk short distances if they feel secure and can get there without being in an accident. However, neighbourhood aesthetics and safety are both closely related to outdoor walking behaviour and may be the missing links in the missing link.
Senior pedestrians are safer on streets when they feel good. Although pedestrian infrastructure and safety can all be objectively assessed, people’s perceptions of a neighbourhood may differ. The results of several studies have shown that aesthetics and safety are related to physical and social well-being among older adults. However, these findings need to be confirmed through additional research. In the meantime, the design of neighbourhoods can be improved to promote walking and improve the quality of life for older residents.
In Portland, Oregon, a new program is helping make our streets safer for seniors on foot. The program is a partnership between three local business associations, Jaime Gauthier, the Office of Complete Streets and Councilmember. The elderly and pedestrians are most often involved in fatal pedestrian collisions. However, the program’s success shows the importance of effective community engagement. This approach is a practical planning approach that aims to make our streets safer for older pedestrians.
Urban density actually increases the risk of pedestrian-car collisions. While seniors make up only 12 percent in New York’s population, they are responsible for almost 39 percent of pedestrian deaths. Washington, D.C. city planners are focusing on making streets safer for pedestrians. A major pedestrian safety plan has been developed around streets near senior centers. Three pedestrians were killed on upper Connecticut Avenue in a single year, including a grandmother aged 72.
Researchers are trying to better understand how choice behavior affects elderly pedestrians’ street-crossing choices. Elderly pedestrians face greater risks crossing streets than younger pedestrians. Multiple studies have revealed the factors that make street-crossing difficult for the elderly. For example, elderly pedestrians should take the time to consider the duration of pedestrian green lights before crossing streets. To avoid falling into danger, pedestrians must be aware of the location and accessibility of pedestrian crossing facilities.
Researchers are also studying how traffic light changes affect older pedestrians, particularly those with limited mobility. The transportation department began investigating complaints about traffic lights in Ocean Hill. More studies will likely take place in the fall. Senior citizens make up 12.2 per cent of New York City’s pedestrian deaths. Pedestrian deaths among seniors are nearly double those of all other age groups.