Posts Tagged ‘The Portland Press Herald’

For older citizens, lack of transportation a daily struggle

November 7, 2013

Katherine Freund is well aware of the complexity of the transportation problem confronting the nation – and particularly rural states such as Maine – as an estimated 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day in the U.S.

Lack of public transit, limited pools of taxpayer dollars and senior citizens’ reluctance to “burden” anyone else are a few of the challenges communities face as they struggle to help older residents who either cannot or should not get behind the wheel.

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Letting go of the wheel

July 9, 2012

Jack Berman may not always know what he had for breakfast yesterday, but he knows he shouldn’t get behind the wheel.

“I could kill someone,” the 84-year-old said.

Berman is a Korean War veteran and one-time traffic engineer who helped install Portland’s first traffic lights. A few years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had to give up driving. It was his doctor’s decision, not his, but Berman recognizes that it was the right thing to do.

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Letters to the editor – There’s an option for aging drivers

July 6, 2012

On Friday , an 88-year-old Scarborough man was driving north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 295 in Portland. A state trooper quickly acted and set up a head-on crash to stop that driver. Two days earlier an 83-year-old South Portland man did a U-turn in Portland, killing a motorcyclist.

Both incidents could have been avoided if these drivers had chosen to stop driving and seek rides from ITNPortland, which provides affordable rides 24/7 for any purpose within 15 miles of Portland to seniors and the visually impaired.

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Ride milestone, ITNPortland is expected to offer its 250,000th ride to a lucky passenger this week.

April 9, 2012

A nonprofit service that offers inexpensive car rides to older or visually impaired Cumberland County residents is expected to hit a milestone this week.

ITNPortland is just a few rides away from offering its 250,000th ride.

ITNPortland is part of the 16-year-old Independent Transportation Network, or ITNAmerica, which started out as a graduate project at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. It has grown into a national transportation system for older people who want to stop driving without losing their independence.

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Maine Voices: Fatal accident calls attention to seniors’ need for transit options

January 30, 2012

Written by
Bob Dunfey

WESTBROOK – On Wednesday night, a 77-year-old driver entered Interstate 295 in Freeport and drove north in the southbound lanes.

Tragically, he lost his life and seriously injured another driver going south on 295.

Judgment errors like this one happen more often with older drivers. Twenty percent of seniors 65 and older have disabilities that impair their ability to drive safely. On average, men outlive their ability to drive safely by six years, women by 10 years.


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