Who Needs Cars

Who Needs Cars in Senior Cohousing?

Cars, Who Needs Them?

Since cars are generally left at the perimeter of the property in cohousing communities, the importance of automobiles begins to recede immediately in the lives of seniors. By living in senior cohousing, seniors may find they are able to live without a car long before they need to give up driving.

There comes a time in the life of every senior when driving is no longer possible. With car sharing, ride sharing, public transportation, and having services located in the elder cohousing community, the importance of cars in the lives of seniors begins to recede. In fact, by living in senior cohousing, seniors may find they are able to live without a car long before they need to give up driving.

Most cohousing communities plan for cars to be left at the perimeter of the property. Seniors then use pedestrian walkways to travel around the community.

The advantages:

  • Traveling around the community on pedestrian walkways allows neighbors to meet and communicate on a daily basis.
  • Frail or disabled seniors are safer, not only from cars but because neighbors see them and watch out for their safety.
  • Benches and shaded areas along the walkways encourage a more relaxed and friendly lifestyle for seniors.
  • Attached garages are a health hazard which cars to emit heat and toxic gases into the home.
  • The space normally used for streets and driveways is used for community resources.

This works well because:

  • Cohousing communities are small (compared to subdivisions) so there is not a great distance to cars from any one home.
  • Seniors who feel they need to be near their car for some reason can choose a location near the parking facilities.
  • Senior cohousing communities should have a storage area in the parking area for wagons or other rolling equipment to transport groceries/other items to the individual home or common house.
  • Vehicles can access the wide pedestrian walkways in an emergency or for extra-large items to be delivered.

Public transportation availability is growing and is already available in most areas for those who are disabled. If night driving is a problem for entertainment reasons, and if residents desire, the homeowners association can purchase a van and hire a driver for a set number of entertainment hours/times per week.

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