Friday, 26 April 2013

Local Transport for Senior Citizens

Age, lack of vision, and frailty are a few things that restrict senior citizens from driving their own vehicles. Fortunately, there are a variety of different ways through which they can get in and around the cities easily.

Public Transport
Senior citizens are offered special discounts for public transportation such as buses, taxis, metros, and the like. Public transportation certainly comes in very handy in states such as California where the traffic is excruciating and shuttle system highly developed. Moreover, nothing compares to sitting in the passenger’s seat when traveling to a destination. Hence, public modes of transportation become a healthier option as they put less strain over the individual’s body.

Senior Transportation Programs
Some communities also provide transportation programs wherein citizens volunteer to take the elderly to and from doctor's appointments, events, and several other activities. There are also many transportation providers that offer discounted rates, making each ride almost half the price. Several church groups also volunteer to take seniors to destinations, like grocery stores, appointments and the like. These groups tend to vary from city to city based on what the municipality might have set up.

Several family members offer to take their older relatives wherever they want to go. This is to give back to the people who have taken care of the family during their younger years. Paying a young adult who has just received his license to take his relative around as part of the pocket money is also a great idea. This will only be a few times every week and is a good way to help the children bond with their older relatives.

Senior Shuttles:
Senior shuttles are financed in some communities, and are also normally available for the elderly in assisted living facilities. These buses transport seniors from their home to different locations, such as grocery stores, friend's house, and the like. These vehicles either return later or wait to pick the senior to take him/her back home.

Tips To Keep Public Transport A Safe Method:
There are a few precautions that must be taken when traveling in a public transit system. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • It’s good to stay alert while traveling. Older people must be advised to support themselves when the automobile is slowing down or turning.
  • When seniors enter any type of public vehicle they must be aware of the uneven or slippery surfaces that can make them fall or twist an ankle. Also, they must keep the gap between the pavement and the step in mind. It’s important to be careful not to walk into the gap.
  • They should be aware of their capabilities. Enough time must be given to use a crossing, particularly when the weather is bad.
  • They must always wear a safety seat belt. The belt helps to keep the body steady during the whole ride and is an important safety feature normally neglected.
With a few simple steps and a little thought, senior citizens can enjoy their independence irrespective of their age.

As it is sometimes dangerous for the elderly with impaired faculties to drive a motor vehicle, it is essential that substitutes be available. Fortunately, there are several other means for the disabled and senior persons to travel around. Using buses or calling a family member can help them stay active and independent. Apart from this, seniors who live in the suburban or rural areas can also depend on taxis. Yellow cabs come in very handy as they offer privacy and can travel to places where buses can’t. For long distances, a cab may be a little cost-prohibitive, but certainly the most comfortable.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The benefits to San Mateo County

Highway 99 or State Route 99 is a north–south (N-S) state expressway in California, extending almost the full length of Central Valley. Starting from north at SR 36 close to Red Bluff and south at I-5 close to Wheeler Ridge, the highway goes through the eastern part of the valley. The cities served comprise of Visalia, Bakersfield, Fresno, Merced, Madera, Modesto, Sacramento, Stockton, and Chico.

From the south at Wheeler Ridge Interchange, Route 99 crosses major cities such as Tulare, Bakersfield, Visalia, Madera, Fresno, Merced, Stockton and Modesto. Most of the section is made to freeway standards but, there are sections that are four-lane.

The Benefits to San Mateo County:
It has recently been suggested that route 99 be upgraded. Highway 99 freeway sections link to numerous smaller cities and big urban centers that offer support to the commercial industry of California. The highway also connects with freeway 101 and state route 135 that travels across San Mateo county. Hence, any alteration to the route will mean trucks and cars can travel at high speeds to and from the cities for commerce and recreational purposes.

Project components comprise of widening the road from 4 to 6 lanes by constructing one lane in both directions. This project will also upgrade the bridge rails and develop concrete median barriers. There will also be some shoulder widening at French Camp Slough, Lone Tree Slough, and Little John Creek. A smoother route 99 means that residents of the County can reach several other parts of California within minutes. You might find yourself preferring taxi cabs for long travels across these routes.

The Need and Purpose:
The main aim of the project is to offer congestion relief, upgrades to present design standards, and alteration of current ramps. It is also a way to decrease travel time via public transportation such as, yellow taxis and buses. These sections offer a quicker route that connects businesses and people to several parts of the state.
For route 99, KSN or Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc. has been appointed to provide preliminary right-of-way and mapping services for the complete 9.5 miles of the project in the PA/ED phase. The company’s scope of work will comprise of coordinating with CalTrans on aerial mapping and survey control, design support ground surveys, and the like. The main aim is to upgrade route 99 to interstate highway standards.

These standards are as follows:
  • Controlled access: access on and off the road is to be controlled with grade separations and interchanges. Ramps must be designed with proper principles in mind.
  • Access control must extend a minimum of 100 feet in urban and 300 feet in rural areas in every direction.
  • Minimum speed should be 75 miles per hour in rural areas, 65 miles per hour in rolling terrain, and 50 miles per hour in urban and mountainous areas.
  • There must be a minimum of two lanes in both directions, and more if required for an acceptable level. Emergency escape ramps and climbing lanes must be provided where needed.
  • Minimum width of the lane must be 12 feet.
  • There must be no fixed objects in the clear recovery area. In case it’s not possible, barriers or breakaway supports guarding the objects must be used.
  • Vertical curbs are completely prohibited. Sloping curbs are to be at the edge of the paved shoulder, with maximum 100 millimeters height. Combining guard rails and curbs are discouraged.
Also, to add to the deal, highway 101 and 135 are also being upgraded to six lanes close to San Mateo County. With a budget of about $68 million for route 99 and $29.9 million for highway 101/SR 135, the construction will certainly offer less concentrated rush hour. Such developments will add to the achievements of the state and will also make rides smoother. Calling a taxi cab will become a better option than taking other modes of transit across cities. Improved traffic flow will also be good for the local businesses in San Mateo.