With the coronavirus vaccine rollout came an ethical question: Who gets priority? While there’s no simple answer, the response has generally been to favor the most vulnerable. This is a sensible way to organize resources in a society, and yet it’s far from the norm when it comes to sidewalks, streets and roadways – where vulnerable populations have the highest risk.
If you don’t drive because you’re too young, unable or cannot afford to, you’re at a great disadvantage for not having reliable transport. You may rely on buses, your feet, your wheelchair, RTC, taxis or a bicycle. Sidewalks are impassable long after streets are cleared of snow. As cars speed by on arterials, you may have to walk blocks to get to the closest crosswalk.
Maine and the U.S. as a whole need to do a better job addressing “mobility equity.” It’s critically important that transportation options are available to people who choose to move around their communities using something besides an automobile.