Too Often, Children Are Forgotten by Transportation Planning
In a blog for the Saporta Report, Doug Joiner writes that transportation planners don't do enough to consider children. Joiner argues that children represent a particularly vulnerable population with specific needs that will not be met if planners only consider adults. Joiner starts with the example of Atlanta, "If leadership in public and private sectors are not willing to invest, explore change and innovation, they will be the missing pieces that would ensure that this international city is child safe, healthy, eco-friendly, and a joyful place to live," Doug Joiner writes.
To prove that children are left out of transportation plans, Joiner points to a number of plans that mention children once or just a handful of times. But children need to travel just as adults do, to get to school, to attend activities and to socialize. Joiner argues that children should be thought of as commuters because: though they might not work, they are making daily trips to school.
To Joiner, this inclusion can help planners consider the population and would provide a route through which to reach out to the community they seek to engage with their plan. "The notion of children as commuters, when utilized as a community engagement tool, would enable a centering to focus conversations and activities of adults regarding children and how to interact with them regarding the various associations they have during their daily lives," Joiner argues.