AARP Sends Its Transportation Priorities to Congress

AARP_bike.jpg(Photo: AARP)
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.