Thursday, June 07, 2007

When I'm seventy-four

When planner and transportation guru David Bonk talks to the Council about the 2030 Long-Range Transportation Plan for the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro metropolitan area, it seems so technical, so logical and orderly. The other night I calculated how old I'll be in 2030, and a new world order appeared before me. By that time, my less than 20/20 vision will be fixed on a rather short range.

Last fall, the Orange County Commission on Aging presented the Council with its "Master Aging Plan Update and Preliminary Goals and Objectives." This is a good thing for an area where the retiree-age population is growing.

The one-level house we live in, built in the 1950s, was designed so that eventually one part of the house could be converted into an apartment for a caretaker. The owners in the end chose to move to Carolina Meadows. For awhile after we moved to this neighborhood a decade ago, it seemed like a NORC--but by now many others have moved on to Carolina Meadows or Carol Woods or The Cedars or The Forest at Duke.

We may not have those choices or want them. It would be great to know that our community has support services for those who are living independently long past a time when common sense or reason would recommend it. Happily, the county's master aging plan aims to have services in place for people who are still in their homes.

In Albany, New York, they've just started a new journal on aging and urban planning. Guess what? It turns out that walkability, mixed use, and efficient transit services are good for old people.

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