Elected Officials

Create a Safe Routes for Seniors Program

A Safe Routes for Seniors program targets pedestrian improvements in areas with senior centers, hospitals, and large numbers of senior residents.

Guidance
  • Demonstrate the need. Collect:
    • Baseline data, such as the number, attributes, and circumstances of pedestrian crash injuries and fatalities
    • Traffic volumes and speeds
    • Population statistics by geographical distribution (e.g. area densities of senior populations)
    • Adequacy of existing infrastructure (sidewalk gaps, crosswalks, etc.)
  • Also survey residents about mobility concerns and priorities
  • Publicize the demonstrated need for targeted infrastructure improvements:
    • Set up meetings with local representatives, advocacy groups, community organizations, and city agencies
    • Write press releases and invite mainstream and social media representatives to cover the story
  • Collaborate with departments of transportation and health, transit providers, senior center staff, seniors, health-care providers, and advocates to systematically address safety concerns and improvements
  • Request signal timing based on the slower walking speeds of seniors (3 feet per second) to give pedestrians enough time to safely cross
Benefits
  • Tailors responses to the needs and concerns of seniors
  • Creates a safer walking environment for everyone using the streets
  • Induces drivers to slow down
  • Encourages walking as a transportation option
Considerations
  • Coordinating traffic-calming plans with the needs of emergency responders
  • Funding traffic-calming and/or infrastructure improvements
  • Coordinating infrastructure improvements to optimize costs and benefits
Where to Use It
  • Vicinities or senior centers and hospitals
  • Districts with high densities of senior residents
Professional Consensus
Examples

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.