The AARP Blog recently ran a feature about the benefits of transit oriented development (TOD). Building walkable communities with a solid transportation infrastructure is a demonstrably important way to keep seniors active and involved in their communities, even after driving is no longer safe for them.
The article featured the excellent walkable neighborhoods in Arlington, Virginia, which are well-designed, attractive, functional, and safe.
"[The neighborhoods are] nestled around subway stations, which double as hubs for local bus transfers. Not only can residents walk or roll to public transit options, a shopping mall, banks, restaurants, tennis courts, and a swimming pool are all within five blocks of the station. The benefits of these live, work, and play neighborhoods are well known among young professionals, and there is increasing recognition of their benefits for retirees."
The blog post also featured a video that made a particularly salient point. "When planning for older adults you're planning for your future." All of us age, and none of us can guarantee that driving will be a safe bet after a certain age.
Of course, seniors aren't the only ones who benefit from the presence of such communities. As the video mentioned, Arlington's smart communities are great places to raise a family.
Cars are often touted as a sign of independence and freedom. However, more and more people are learning that they can find a much richer, deeper, and longer-lasting independence by embracing this kind of intelligent development. We look forward to the day when adults of all ages can enjoy these kinds of benefits across all of Idaho.