Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report Highlights Transportation Aspirations

Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report Highlights Transportation Aspirations

Posted on September 27, 2016 by Kathy Black

Transportation is a critical element of our daily lives -- from traveling to work in a car to taking public transportation to the grocery store or appointments. Age-Friendly Sarasota recently completed an assessment of nearly 1,200 Sarasota County residents’ aspirations regarding community features across eight domains of livability -- including transportation.

Assessment findings were analyzed by age groups including Boomers (age 50-69 at the time of the study) and non-Boomer Elders (age 70+). Additional information about the Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report and more details about the findings can be found on the Age-Friendly Sarasota website.


Although nearly all Sarasota County residents indicate that they drive, they also report multiple modes of transportation.


  • More than half of Boomers and non-Boomer Elders report walking to get around (59% vs. 54%), but there is greater variability among other forms of mobility



  • While more Boomers ride a bike (41% vs. 26%) and use public transportation (12% vs. 11%), Boomers report less usage of others driving them (18% vs. 28%), taking a taxi (14% vs. 18%), and usage of special transportation for seniors of people with disabilities (2% vs. 9%)


The majority of Sarasota residents report that safe and well-maintained streets and intersections, adequate and safe time to cross the street, easy to read traffic signs and enforced speed limits are the most important transportation features.


  • Adequate parking spaces, transportation for healthcare, entertainment and evening travel is important to approximately eight or more out of 10 Sarasota County residents (76% - 90%)



  • Compared to non-Boomer Elders, Boomers place greater importance for evening (81% vs. 76%) and entertainment travel (81% vs. 77%)



  • A third of residents report that driver education or a refresher course is either not important or uncertain regarding its importance


There is variability regarding the presence of important transportation features, with the majority unaware or uncertain about adequate transportation for healthcare, evening and entertainment travel.


  • Compared to Boomers, non-Boomer Elders report a greater presence of all transportation features, and notably driver education (47% vs. 35%), healthcare transport (40% vs. 29%), evening travel (21% vs. 16%), and travel for entertainment (28% vs. 16%)


Sarasota County residents report a wide variety of issues pertaining to transportation and mobility including the importance of and transitioning from driving, features that impact older drivers and pedestrians, alternative modes of transportation and more.


  • Residents recognize the centrality of “driving” to their daily lives and to the lives of others and the inevitability of losing their own ability to drive. They also report concerns about the safety of driving by other older adults.



  • Residents report the importance of signage and wayfinding to drivers and pedestrians



  • Residents express much difficulty in the process of transitioning from driving, including questions regarding their role as well as the roles of others including: family members, doctors, and state policy



  • Residents report a variety of related issues and concerns including: increased traffic congestion (seasonal and due to over-development), generational stereotyping of driving patterns (both young and old), and ideas and options on alternative forms of transportation including: bicycles, golf carts, rides from friends, delivered services, taxi’s, ITN, Uber, and driverless cars


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