Seniors, city planning & safety

Attend any community meeting and look around the room at the residents. Ask “What’s the average age in the room?” My guess is that it’s around 65. This demographic is heavily invested in property, has the time to attend meetings, has the business and management expertise and often is deeply concerned about their community.

Statistics show they are the most likely to get killed as pedestrians. It will be crossing a 4 lane road and they will get hit by a car although minivans are right up there too. Although it might be crossing mid-block, crosswalks or lights don’t make them immune. A speed limit of 50kmhr nearly guarantees death on collision, even 40 is dangerous to pedestrians.

So why when we have community meetings is so much emphasis placed on parking and traffic congestion? Perhaps it would be more helpful and insightful to ask this demo to think of what they would like to see in the planning sessions for 10-15 years from now. Imagine you are 80, you don’t drive, you would like to get to the pharmacy, convenience store or pick up groceries. What would you like to see on your avenue? How wide is the sidewalk, how fast are the cars going, how long will the lights favour your crossing, should we allow left turns?

As a community we have to think of our most vulnerable members, the youngest and the oldest. It may be best to be selfish because one day we will all be seniors.

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About Chris

Doing stuff online since 1994.
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