Streetfilms: Making Streets Safer For Seniors

Transportation Alternatives' Safe Routes for Seniors campaign began in New York City in 2003 to encourage senior citizens to walk more by improving the pedestrian environment. Funded by the New York State Department of Health, it was a pioneering program to address the needs of elderly pedestrians.

In 2008, New York City launched its own Safe Streets for Seniors initiative based on Safe Routes for Seniors. While this program, with a focus on 25 areas with high senior pedestrian fatalities, is breaking new ground, advocates and seniors who live outside the target zones question whether it goes far enough. Stats released by Transportation Alternatives show that:

  • People aged 65 years and older make up 12 percent of the population, but comprised 39 percent of New York City's pedestrian fatalities between 2002 and 2006.
  • The fatality rate of senior pedestrians is 40 times greater than that of child pedestrians in Manhattan.

This Streetfilm is an overview of what Transportation Alternatives, the New York State Department of Health, NYC DOT, community groups, and elected officials are doing to promote safe streets for seniors.