Seniors – people in my age group – are often an obstacle to intelligent town planning. We don’t like change and we’re afraid that weird things like bike lanes and housing that’s different than single-family homes on big lots will “ruin the neighborhood character” and (outrage!) reduce the resale price of our house. NIMBY, thy name is us.
So here’s a thought: Repackage sensible ideas like sidewalks, mixed-used development and bike lines as being “age friendly” – things that will let old folks stay in their house instead of being shuffled off to a COVID-racked retirement home when they can’t mow the enormous lawn any more.
New Hampshire Bulletin has a story (read the whole thing here) talking about that very idea, although it’s not presented in quite such a damn-those-annoying-old-farts kind of way:
First, what’s good for some is good for all.
“Everyone benefits from safe sidewalks. Everyone benefits from housing that is safe and affordable. Everyone benefits from transportation that is safe and accessible,” said Ashley Davis, associate state director of outreach and advocacy at AARP New Hampshire. “This work really opens doors for everybody, and it makes our state an even better place to live.”
Second, today’s retirees, who are living longer, are particularly valuable because they have the professional experience and free time needed for community efforts, and the money to spend in local restaurants and stores.
“The baby boom generation is the healthiest and wealthiest generation ever to walk on the face of the earth. There’s simply no contest,” William Beach, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, told journalists at a September fellowship hosted by AARP. “