Mobility has been a key issue presented and discussed at the "Advocates for Livable Communities Training" presented to interested Montgomery County residents by Professors Sharon Baggett, University of Indianapolis, and Jennie Todd, Indiana University. Crawfordsville was chosen as one of two pilot communities in Indiana for this training funded by the Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities.

"The ability to move easily, safely and conveniently in one's community is essential for engaging in the daily tasks of life. Mobility includes having transit options that are affordable, accessible for all abilities, conveniently located and scheduled, inter-connected, and reach enough of the community to ensure you can get where you need to go." (Training Workbook )

Mobility also includes walking and having paths, walkways and safe street crossings, so that linking a walk or roll (wheel chair, baby carriage, stroller) with a destination or even to another transit option can be done with ease.

What is the state of walkways in Crawfordsville and the small communities in Montgomery County? Do we have sidewalks with gaps, perhaps heaving from weather or roots, or lacking curb cuts? Do the design of our walkways lead sensibly to cross-walks which best serve the users? Can pedestrians be easily seen by oncoming traffic, either during the daytime or at night? Are lighting and signage adequate? Where are the problem areas that could be corrected?

Transit can include a range of services from buses, door-to-door vans (like our Sunshine Vans) as well as streetcars, light rail, etc. in larger populated areas. In some communities, small retirement or even college towns, three-wheel taxis and golf cart taxis are being employed.

A comprehensive transit approach includes: fixed route, para-transit (on demand), neighborhood shuttles, affordable taxi and other private services; safety and comfort (with covered stops), seating, adequate lighting; and easy access with easy to read schedules posted where all can see clear posting of fees and routes.

Each community is encouraged to identify what types of services are available and are there supportive programs to assist those who cannot afford to pay or pay the full price? Are the services accessible and available in the appropriate areas of the community?

Biking is another key element in the mobility plan. Safety issues similar to those affecting pedestrians are important. Increasingly, livable communities provide bikeways that serve to get people to and from work, to other services, and for recreation.

"Complete Streets" is a movement interested in overall planning to enable safe access for all users: pedestrians, persons in wheelchairs, people pushing wheelchairs, baby carriages or strollers, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities. The focus of Complete Streets has been to help state and local communities adopt new policies and changes "to ensure the entire street right-of-way is designed and operated to enable safe access for all users." (AARP, 2009)

Mobility is important as part of overall planning for quality of life, affecting where people choose to live, work and play, as well as to our health and access to services!