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AARP Sends Its Transportation Priorities to Congress

11:31 AM PDT on June 15, 2009

AARP,
the Washington mega-force that lays claim to a membership base of 40
million older Americans, today threw its weight behind three
transportation policy changes in a letter to House members.

The
group asked Reps. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and John Mica (R-FL), the
chairman and senior Republican on the House transportation committee,
to include "complete streets" language in their upcoming federal transportation bill.

AARP
is also seeking $500 million -- and the appointment of a special
assistant to the Transportation Secretary -- to help states implement
highway design standards aimed at ensuring safety for older drivers and
pedestrians.

Finally, the group suggested an expansion of the federal DOT's Section 5310 grant program,
which helps non-profit groups provide private transportation services
to senior citizens and the disabled. The requests were made in a letter
to Oberstar and Mica from David Sloane, senior vice president of
government relations for AARP. Sloane wrote:

[W]e urge you to consider measures to make communities safer and
more livable for older adults through expanded transportation services and
improved infrastructure. Transportation is inextricably linked to the
health and economic security outcomes that are so essential to the well-being
of older persons.

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