Centering the Voices of the Disabled and Nondrivers in Transportation Advocacy

You wouldn’t know it from looking at the design of our roads, sidewalks, and curbs, but plenty of people are considered nondrivers. Unfortunately, when lawmakers, planners, and developers make decisions about how to get around, those voices are rarely included — let alone centered. This is patently inequitable.

We need greater transportation advocacy.

Nondrivers— those who don’t have access to a car, or simply choose not to drive— are more likely to be members of additionally marginalized groups. That includes disabled folks, elders, BIPOC, and immigrants. Many Americans simply can’t afford to own or maintain a vehicle. Some live in places without the ample free parking that suburban residents enjoy. Others may share a single vehicle between multiple family members and rely heavily on transit that’s functional.

What would a transportation campaign look like that centered those voices instead of more privileged voices? What would public policy around walkability and mobility look like if it weren’t focused on cars and drivers, but instead, everyone else?

An aqua-blue graphic with the text "Not everyone drives. It's time to start designing cities for everyone". It advertising the webinar. It has the date — November 16, pm — and the logos of the participants.

This webinar was hosted on November 16 at 2pm PST and included a slate of panelists whose lived experience is guiding this kind of policy shift. Learn about their innovative tactics to attract attention to their campaign — and how, through transportation advocacy, they’re changing the narrative.

Moderator Claire Stanley, a Public Policy Analyst at National Disability Rights,  joined by panelists Anna Zivarts, of Disability Rights Washington, and Paulo Ueno-Nunes, of Front and Centered to discuss this critical issue. You can find a blog post recapping this conversation here.

A screenshot of our nondrivers webinar

Further reading can be found: