Tag Archives: transportation

Affordable and Accessible Housing

"Affordable and Accessible Housing Needs and Barriers" report cover image

The IC recognizes that there is an extreme and drastic need for affordable and accessible housing in our community. With rising housing costs and income levels dropping below median wages, more and more people face challenges finding adequate housing that fits budget levels. For people with disabilities, location becomes a prominent factor, due to the requirement of close city transportation. When combining these needs with safety concerns, elderly persons’ needs and health concerns, community resources delays, and other obstacles, the barriers often cause homelessness and other significant issues such as depression and hopelessness, which in turn stifle independent living.

The Independence Center brought together many people facing these issues through focus groups, interviews, and community forums in order to highlight the vast needs that are causing strain in the community. Carrie Baatz, Community Advocacy Coordinator for The Independence Center, pulled these concerns, stories, and obstacles together to build a report detailing each issue, need, barrier, and recommendation to present to Colorado Springs and El Paso County officials, as well as to promote awareness and spark conversation and action. ~ NS

Cover

Affordable and Accessible Housing Report

Recommendations

  • Public education and advocacy
  • A sustained effort to build capacity for affordable and accessible housing
  • Building relationships and trust between service providers and housing providers
  •  Integrate affordable housing units with market-rate housing
  • Increase staff and availability of Code Enforcement Officers
  •  More personnel to provide education and enforcement regarding Fair Housing laws
  • Centralized method of tracking available affordable and accessible housing units
  • A greater spectrum of resources to adequately fulfill the needs in the Pikes Peak Region

Get Involved

People’s Access to Homes (PATH)believes everyone has a right to a space they call home. They are advocating for housing rights and increased affordable and accessible housing in the Pikes Peak Region. Meetings are at The Independence Center every Thursday from 3:00pm – 4:30pm.

 

Click here to read the report in it’s entirety.  Affordable_and_Accesible_Housing_Report Aug 2015

To Drive or Not to Drive

A recent report shows reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in Colorado’s largest urbanized areas, Denver and Colorado Springs. In addition, both cities saw greater use of public transit and Denver saw greater use in biking.

The report, “Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities,” is based on the most current available government data. It is the first ever national study to compare transportation trends for America’s largest cities.

Courtney Stone, a community organizer with The Independence Center, spoke at the media release of this report about her personal choice to drive less. She stated some ways that alternative transportation options serve the larger community, but more specifically, the population of people (with or without disabilities), who do not have the option to drive personal cars and rely on transit and other forms of transportation in order to fully access their community.

While some people are choosing to drive less, alternative transportation serves the greater need of providing choices to people with disabilities when other options may be limited. CoPIRG will be working on a state-wide level to advocate for more funding for alternative transportation; the community organizing department of The Independence Center will be partnering with them in the future to advocate for more accessible transportation in Colorado Springs.

The study found that cities with the largest decreases in driving were not those hit hardest by the recession. On the contrary, the economies of urbanized areas with the largest declines in driving appear to have been less affected by the recession according to unemployment, income and poverty indicators.

Quick Facts from the report:

  • The proportion of workers commuting by private vehicle—either alone or in a carpool—declined in 99 out of 100 of America’s most populous urbanized areas between 2000 and the 2007-2011 period.
  • In Colorado Springs driving miles per capita decreased by 6.0%. In the Denver urbanized area, there was a 10.6% decrease in vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) per capita from 2006 to 2011. The decrease in Denver was the 9th largest percent decrease among America’s 100 largest cities.
  • The percent of workers commuting by private vehicle in the Colorado Springs urbanized area fell 3.4 percent between 2000 and the 2007 to 2011 period—the 8thlargest reduction out of the 100 largest urbanized areas in the U.S. In Denver the drop was 2.8%, 17th largest.
  • The number of passenger miles travelled on transit per capita increased 13.5 percent in Denver between 2005 and 2010. In Colorado Springs, transit passenger miles per person increased by 4.2 percent. Measured in terms of the number of trips taken on public transit per-capita, Denver witnessed a 3.5 percent increase from 2005 to 2010.
  • The proportion of households without a car increased 0.7 percent in the Colorado Springs urbanized area between 2006 and 2011. This proportion fell in 84 of the largest 100 urbanized areas. Likewise, the proportion of households with two or more vehicles fell in 86 out the 100 most populous urbanized areas during this period, including Colorado Springs, where it fell 2.9 percent.
  • The proportion of residents working out of their home increased in all 100 of America’s most populous urbanized areas between 2000 and 2010, including in Colorado Springs which had a 1.3% increase.

Driving Is Declining and Non-Driving Transportation Is Increasing in Urbanized Areas

Disability Law Series: The Air Carrier Access Act

The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

This week we are highlighting the Air Carrier Access Act. The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel, and requires air carriers to accommodate the needs of passengers with disabilities.

Some examples of what this act includes are:

  • Carriers may not refuse transportation to people on the basis of disability. If a carrier excludes a handicapped person on safety grounds, the carrier must provide the person a written explanation of the decision.
  • Airlines may not require advance notice that a person with a disability is traveling.
  • Carriers may require up to 48 hours’ advance notice for certain accommodations that require preparation time (e.g., respirator hook-up, transportation of an electric wheelchair on an aircraft with less than 60 seats).
  • New aircrafts (planes ordered after April 5, 1990 or delivered after April 5, 1992) with 30 or more seats must have movable aisle armrests on half the aisle seats in the aircraft.
  • Aircrafts with more than 60 seats and an accessible lavatory must have an on-board wheelchair, regardless of when the aircraft was ordered or delivered. For flights on an aircraft with more than 60 seats that do not have an accessible lavatory, carriers must place an on-board wheelchair on the flight if a passenger with a disability gives the airline 48 hours’ notice that he or she can use an inaccessible lavatory but needs an on-board wheelchair to reach the lavatory.
  • Airport facilities owned or operated by carriers must meet the same accessibility standards that apply to Federally-assisted airport operators.

Sources:

http://www.disabilitytravel.com/airlines/air_carrier_act.htm

http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/FAQ_5_13_09.pdf

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