With a vast majority of public transit organizations offering reduced fare programs for senior citizens, seniors are one of the largest demographic groups that rely on public buses. But municipal budgets are being slashed across the country, and basic maintenance of right-of-way properties is often deferred or neglected – and seniors are most susceptible to the byproducts of that neglect.

Pedestrians can trip in potholes, on broken or degraded curbs and storm drain openings, over sidewalk panels raised by tree roots, over uncompleted construction, and more. Many roads don’t even have sidewalks. Factors like reduced available street crossing times exacerbate the injurious effects of these hazards – factors that hit seniors the hardest. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, people age 70 or older have a higher rate of death from being hit by cars than any other age group.

A number of organizations are working to improve the safety of public streets, including the National Complete Streets Coalition, Transportation Alternatives’ Safe Routes for Seniors, and AARP.