Appendix A: Amplifying Questions
The focus of this scan is on the implementation of infrastructure improvements and traffic operations for older road users. The scan team also aims to investigate and discuss policy initiatives on transportation system planning, operations, and design as they relate to older road users. Rural roadway safety issues are of particular interest to the group. The scope of this project specifically excludes driver licensing and remedial training programs, but the scan team is interested in learning about any particularly innovative programs in these areas in the countries it visits. The team is particularly interested in actually visiting roadways where infrastructure improvements have been implemented to observe firsthand the materials and construction techniques employed.
Policy and Planning
- What is the long–range vision or strategy of your agency to address older road users? What policies and programs are in place to address the needs of older road users?
- Are there specific laws, rules, and regulations in effect that require your agency to address the needs of older road users? Do you have flexibility in assessing these needs or has the policy been dictated from above?
- What efforts have you made to educate and influence decisionmakers and legislators about older road user issues?
- Are there partnerships established and used to address the immediate and long–term needs of older road users? Who are the partners (e.g., regional or local transportation departments, other government agencies such as licensing administrators, retirement organizations, medical professionals, automobile clubs, etc.) and how do they work together?
- What institutional barriers had to be overcome to allow infrastructure decisions to be made on the basis of safety benefits for older road users? How were those barriers addressed? Do they still exist?
Planning Data and Process
- What is the demographic future of your country or region and how will it impact the ability of the older population to use the transportation system (as drivers, pedestrians, and transit users)? What data sources are used for planning for older road users?
- What funding opportunities and constraints are placed on your agency to address the needs of older road users?
- Are there dedicated funds (e.g., safety programs, transit infrastructure) to address the needs of older road users? Approximately how much of the transportation budget in your country is spent on addressing older road user needs?
Mobility Alternatives and Community–Based Planning
- How has transit–oriented development been promoted and implemented to accommodate older road users and minimize their automobile use or dependence?
- How are suburban and rural areas (where public transportation systems are not sufficiently robust) identifying needs and implementing alternative transportation programs for older road users?
- How do the transport sector and the health and human services sector coordinate policies and work together to meet older adults' transportation needs?
Implementation and Evaluation
- How do you educate and train practitioners responsible for the planning, design, and construction of the infrastructure about the needs of the aging population and potential solutions to accommodate those needs?
- How do you assess the effectiveness of planning and policy initiatives targeted to older road users?
- How do you encourage innovation in traffic safety product development in the private sector in a way that rewards research that finds new ways to benefit older road users?
Standards and Guidance for Engineering and Operations
- Have specific standards and policies been developed that must be followed in constructing new facilities or reconstructing existing facilities that specifically address the needs of older road users? Examples may range from typeface requirements on signs to changes in signal phasing to enhanced geometric designs.
- How are the needs of older users considered in the normal cycle of revising infrastructure design and operational standards?
- Have the needs of older road users changed the replacement cycle of critical infrastructure elements (i.e., signs, pavement markings)? How was this change justified?
Implementation and Evaluation
- At what levels of government are engineering standards implemented—national, regional, or local? What policies and regulations are in place to insure the needs of older road users are met at all levels?
- How do you prioritize projects for implementation? What are the tradeoffs you must consider in implementation? Are the infrastructure improvement decisions most often made at the project level to respond to a specific problem or need, or at the system level to proactively address anticipated needs?
- What measures of effectiveness does your agency use to assess infrastructure or operational improvements?
Best Practices in Infrastructure Improvements
- Can you provide case studies (examples) of successful changes in the following areas on improvements made for older road users: a) roadway design/geometrics (including intersections), b) traffic control devices (signs, signals, markings), c) pedestrians and bicyclists, and d) transit services/design?
- Have any of your advanced traveler information systems or other intelligent transportation system services been designed, tested, or implemented specifically with older users in mind?
- What specific facilities could you show our group that demonstrate infrastructure improvements designed to aid older road users?
Research and Evaluation Issues
- What are the most significant gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed through research to improve facilities for older road users?
- What research is being pursued, either by your own staff or through agreements with research centers and universities, to identify potential infrastructure improvements to aid older road users?
- Who has taken the lead in identifying and funding research to address older road user needs? Are there partnerships in place to address these research needs?
- How do you integrate research results in your planning process and in the development of engineering standards and guidance?
- What are the safety research collaboration opportunities between international and U.S. transportation research centers?
Other Topics of Interest
- Does your country or state have a special license renewal schedule for the older road user? Does special testing accompany license renewal after a certain age?
- How do you communicate the availability of other travel modes to older users to eventually have them rely less on the automobile?
- What programs are in place to educate older road users (as well as others) on the rules of the road and appropriate driving and walking behaviors, particularly where unfamiliar infrastructure treatments may be implemented? Are future initiatives planned to educate older road users?
- Are you helping to manage the transition from older driver to older passenger/traveler? What efforts are you engaged in that encourage older drivers who are not competent to drive to surrender their licenses? Do you have a program that targets the children of older drivers to help the parents make the decision to stop driving?
- Have you specifically accounted for older users when designing advanced traveler information systems and services (e.g., traffic Web sites, automated phone traveler information systems)?
- Are you aware of any innovative technologies being developed in your country that may assist older road users? This would include vehicle–based systems, as well as roadway or information systems.