April’s AARP Bulletin has this story about how streetcars can help Seniors by creating livable communities:
Last winter a snowstorm immobilized Portland, Ore., for two weeks. Recently diagnosed with leukemia, Ann Niles, 68, had scheduled a medical consultation, but bus service was halted and driving strongly discouraged.
What did Niles do? She rode the streetcar to her appointment.
“It turned out I didn’t have leukemia. I had something else, and needed a completely different treatment,” she says. “Because of the streetcar, I was able to proceed with the new treatment right away.”
Niles and her husband, Philip, never imagined such drama would come from living on the Portland streetcar line.
The experience was, however, an extreme example of the convenience they expected from it when they relocated from Minnesota to Oregon. They envisioned the line, opened in 2001 along the four miles between Nob Hill and Portland State University, taking them uptown to their doctors, downtown to shops and to favorite destinations closer to their home in the Pearl District, a former industrial area now bursting with art galleries and restaurants, lofts and new condos.