Aging in Place
Our region's population is aging, which means that our mobility as a population is also changing. By 2040, over 20% of Oregon’s population will be over 65. People aver 65 are more likely to have physical disabilities that make it more difficult for them to drive safely and comfortably (link). However, our current system is not designed to accommodate people who cannot drive. Older people, particularly those living in rural areas, are in danger of getting stuck at home, unable to be physically active or to get to the places they need to go for medical care, food, and social activities.
More than 50% of non-drivers in the United States over the age of 65 stay home on any given day because they cannot get transportation (link) - they are effectively stranded by our transportation system. Older drivers also have a higher likelihood of being killed in a crash per mile that they drive, compared to younger drivers; the roads are more dangerous for us as we age (link).
Older adults, who have spent their lives working to make our region a better place to live in, need to have safe, convenient transportation options. Making our communities safer and more convenient for walking will increase travel options for our aging population.