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March 1, 2017

Age Friendly Lessons: From Bristol to Singapore

On a recent trip to Singapore, I spotted an innovative solution to a problem that I hear people talk about a lot: “I need more time to cross the road.” 

Leeds is not exactly known for being a pedestrian-friendly haven, though it has seen some improvements in recent years, with more parts of the city centre becoming pedestrian-only and initiatives from the Council to improve walking environments in areas such as Dewsbury Road and Middleton Park Avenue. 

But many busy crossings daunt people who walk a bit more slowly than they used to, so when I spotted this solution in Singapore I immediately wondered if it might be a way forward for Leeds, too. 

Under the “Green Man +” scheme, a card issued to someone with a mobility problem allows them to select the option for extra time, rather than extending all the crossing times uniformly, which is unnecessary and could affect traffic patterns negatively. 

A bit closer to home, I couldn’t help notice the bus stop seats in Bristol during a recent trip. If a Leeds stop does have seats (which is by no means guaranteed), they are narrow and sloped, with no arms or other aid to help people get up. In Bristol, however, the seats are a proper size with proper arms–much more friendly to anybody waiting for a bus, regardless of age. 

What other examples of age-friendly solutions have you seen in your travels? Let us know: