AARP AARP States California Livable Communities

Portraits of Community: Transportation


AARP’s “Portraits of Community” is a unique project that presents a vibrant visual representation of how communities can embody the 8 Domains of Livability. These 8 Domains highlight the idea that our neighborhoods, roadways, and social interactions should be constructed in a way that benefit people of all ages and abilities, and that building communities in such a way has a lasting, positive impact. “Portraits of Community” is a “visualization” of the wants and needs of community members.

Prominent among these are a desire for safe, accessible, and reliable transportation options.

Tamika Butler, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, understands the benefits that come with safe transportation options and how communities of color in particular are negatively impacted by the current lack of such resources.

"Low-income communities and communities of color, like South LA, are particularly impacted by a lack of safe, affordable, and accessible transportation options because they have been historically neglected and ignored by planning processes,” Butler says.  “Often, the most acute traffic safety problems are occurring in low-income communities of color, where biking and walking are often the only choices. These community members have the right to feel safe as they move about their neighborhoods and that's why having safe affordable, and accessible option is so important."

An “age-friendly” community embraces the importance of transportation in maintaining quality of life for people of all ages. However, the challenges are clear when it comes to creating effective transportation options for persons of all ages. Affordable, reliable public transit is vital, as are safe sidewalks and crossings, as well as choices that go beyond car keys and bus passes.

While older drivers tend to remain active and engaged in life, non-drivers age 65 and older socialize 65 percent less of the time, make almost 60 percent fewer trips to run errands,  and see their doctors 15 percent less often. By a margin of almost 90 percent, older adults say they want to remain in their own homes and communities as they age -- but 56 percent of them live in the suburbs, where public transit options are few and far between.

A vibrant, age-friendly community provides older residents with good transportation options once they no longer drive --it also puts in place creative programs that will work for tomorrow’s older adults.

As part of our mission to promote safe modes of transportation, AARP has partnered with CicLAvia to temporarily provide car-free streets for community members to safely walk, bike, skate, and run. Join us for the next CicLAvia on October 16 in Downtown Los Angeles – enjoy the city like you never have before and take one of our signature pedicabs around town.

AARP is proud to continue fostering this unique project by helping Los Angeles communities who are Living, Growing, Connecting – Locally!

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