A scary statistic shows that older American adults are overrepresented in intersection pedestrian facilities by a figure of more than two to one.
The essential sign of how the city is livable is the walkability of the city streets and sidewalks. However, the issue of walkability is not just a concern for adults. It is something important to entire community.
AARP is taking steps to improve the situation in Colorado Spring.
State Director for AARP believes it’s the matter of accessing and feeling personal safety. Especially when it comes to crossing streets, particularly busy streets. The time limit for crossing the street is very challenging for adults. Safety in these situations is also critical for kids walking to school, or workers walking to lunch at nearby restaurants.
Most of the people with disabilities are having a struggle because of the problem. Walkability enhances access for people with disabilities or families with kids.
Walking is also beneficial for health. According to statistics, adults in highly walkable neighborhoods engage in 41 more minutes of total physical activity per week than those in low-walkability neighborhoods.
Low walkability leads to obesity, disease and increased healthcare costs.
The World Health Organization started a program called Age-Friendly Communities in 2006, and AARP followed with their version in 2012, which Colorado Spring joined in 2016.263 cities nationwide are in the network. Communities are being evaluated by the Livability Index.
It covers seven categories within a community: Housing, Neighborhood, Transportation, Environment, Health, Engagement, and Opportunity.
Under the section of the neighborhood, walkability is an important one. The question is how safe it is to get from here to there?
Colorado Springs received an updated Livability Index Score of 55 out of 100.
Murphy said it’s a fairly good score. The highest he has seen was somewhere in the 70.
To get the adults active physically, more work needs to be done to make the city’s street walk –friendly and bicycle-friendly.
‘’That’s what we all want as we grow’’, says Murphy.